By Ferdinand Patinio

MEDIA FORUM. Department of Social Welfare and Development spokesperson Irene Dumlao, Department of Migrant Workers Secretary Hans Leo Cacdac and Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Commission spokesperson Winston John Casio (from left) grace the Saturday News Forum in Quezon City on June 15, 2024. Casio said the PAOCC is set to file several non-bailable charges against Bamban, Tarlac Mayor Alice Guo in relation to illegal Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators firms in her town. (PNA photo by Robert Oswald P. Alfiler)

MANILA – The Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Commission (PAOCC) is set to file non-bailable cases against Bamban, Tarlac Mayor Alice Guo before the Department of Justice over her alleged involvement in Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs).

There are accrued criminal charges that would be slapped against Guo and it would surely create a stir, PAOCC spokesperson Winston John Casio said at the Saturday News Forum in Quezon City.

“On Tuesday we will meet as a body to finally decide on the charges kasi medyo marami ho (because it’s quite plenty). So, ang usapan namin kagabi (what we agreed on Friday night) was we will focus on the most serious and the non-bailable charges first, then, we will follow through with the other charges later on,” he said.

“Hayaan nyo na lang sa Friday pag-file namin. Hayaan nyo na lang mabigla kung gaano kadaming counts. Basta marami (You will know how many cases there are when we file the cases on Friday. It will jolt the public. Too many),” he added.

Guo, business permit and licensing officer Edwin Ocampo, and municipal legal officer Adenn Sigua were placed under a six-month preventive suspension without pay by the Office of the Ombudsman on May 31 following the administrative complaints of the Department of the Interior and Local Government for grave misconduct, serious dishonesty, gross neglect of duty and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service.

As for the POGO raid in Porac, Pampanga on June 5, Casio said they expect to finish the inventory this weekend.

“So, we will have to take a look at all of the evidence we have on hand, documentary, testimonial and so on, and digital as well,” he added.

Casio said the inter-agency body is likewise monitoring 58 POGO firms in Cavite, Laguna, Palawan and Cebu provinces, among others, that may still be operating even if their operations have been canceled.

Roque document

Meanwhile, Casio said a former assistant of ex-Palace spokesperson Harry Roque is not considered a person of interest in relation to their investigation on POGO operations.

During the raid at the Lucky South 99 in Porac, a letter bearing the name of Roque was recovered.

“At this point, no, because what you find is the document supposedly coming from the Office of the President, specifically from the Office of the Presidential Spokesperson, way back 2021. On face value, it has no criminal value for the investigation,” he explained.

“Likewise, finding a document of his special assistant in one of the buildings does not constitute suspicious activity,” he added. (PNA)