By Darryl John Esguerra

Bamban, Tarlac Mayor Alice Guo (PNA photo by Avito Dalan)

MANILA – More charges are set to be filed against suspended Bamban, Tarlac Mayor Alice Guo who is accused of being an enabler of illegal Philippine Offshore Gaming Operation (POGO) hubs, the Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Commission (PAOCC) bared Monday.

PAOCC and the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) on Friday filed a complaint against Guo and others for alleged human trafficking in connection to the raided POGO hub in her municipality.

PAOCC spokesperson Dr. Winston John Casio said more charges were being prepared to be filed against the embattled mayor, this time over her supposed connection in the raided illegal POGO compound in Porac, Pampanga.

Mayroon pa pong mga karagdagang kaso kaming inaayos ngayong linggo, siguro up until next week. Kapag nabuo na po namin iyong mga documentary requirement, the complaint affidavit and all, isasampa na rin po namin sa DOJ [Department of Justice] main iyong kaso (We have additional cases being prepared this week, maybe up until next week. When we have completed the documentary requirements, the complaint affidavit and all, we will also file the case with the DOJ),” Casio said during the televised Bagong Pilipinas public briefing.

Casio said digital footprints and paper trails of raided POGO hubs in Porac and Bamban established Guo’s connection to their operations.

Since nasampahan na po natin siya doon sa Bamban, may posibilidad din po na masampahan siya sa Porac or madagdagan pa po iyong mga kaso ni mayora with regard to Bamban (Since we have filed cases against her for the Bamban POGO, there’s a possibility that cases will be filed against her in connection with the Porac POGO or additional charges may be filed with regard to Bamban),” he said.

Guo, whose identity and citizenship have been placed under scrutiny, was 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.

She has also faced an inquiry by the Senate Committee on Women, Children, Family Relations, and Gender Equality.

Meanwhile, senator Jinggoy Estrada said the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) should consider studying the possibility of issuing an order to freeze all Guo’s assets.

“In light of recent allegations and emerging evidence on Mayor Guo, it is imperative that the AMLC take decisive action to safeguard the integrity of public funds, ensure accountability and promote transparency,” Estrada said in a separate statement.

“This move is a crucial step in preventing the disposition of purported illegally acquired assets that may be subject to investigation,” he added.

Estrada said freeze order should also prompt authorities to thoroughly investigate the entangling web of illegal activities perpetrated in POGOs. (PNA)