Philippine Senator Probes Bamban Mayor's Ties to Illegal Gambling Hub

Philippine Senator Risa Hontiveros investigates Bamban Mayor Alice Leal Guo over possible connections to an illegal Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs) hub in her town. Guo denies involvement, but Hontiveros alleges she lied, and questions surround Guo's identity and citizenship.

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Bijay Laxmi
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Philippine Senator Probes Bamban Mayor's Ties to Illegal Gambling Hub

Philippine Senator Probes Bamban Mayor's Ties to Illegal Gambling Hub

Philippine Senator Risa Hontiveros is investigating Bamban Mayor Alice Leal Guo over her possible connections to an illegal Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs) hub in her town. The probe raises questions about Guo's identity and citizenship amid allegations of human trafficking and surveillance activities at the gambling site.

Why this matters: This investigation has far-reaching implications for the integrity of the Philippine electoral process and the country's ability to combat illegal activities. If Mayor Guo is found to be involved in illegal gambling operations, it could lead to a broader crackdown on similar activities and increased scrutiny of public officials.

Guo, who claims to have grown up raising hogs in Bamban, won the 2022 mayoral election as an independent candidate. However, she has no school records, stating she was homeschooled by a certain Teacher Rubilyn. Her certificate of birth was registered either 17 years after she was born in 2003 or 2013, according to conflicting online sources. Despite her ability to speak like a Filipino, Guo's physical features appear more Chinese than Filipino.

During a May 7 Senate hearing, Guo denied involvement in any POGO operation, a claim Hontiveros later stated was a lie. "Hindi po kami involved in any POGO operation," Guo testified. However, she has been linked to Hongsheng Gaming Technology Inc., which allegedly operated an illegal Chinese gambling site in Bamban.

Guo initially identified her father as Anghelito Guo, but later admitted his real name was Jian Zhong Guo, with conflicting documents listing his nationality as either Filipino or Chinese. While the Senate possesses a certificate of live birth for Anghelito Guo, Guo has yet to present a public record establishing her own identity as a Filipino national.

Hontiveros suspects that Guo might be a Chinese "asset" trained to infiltrate and influence the Philippine government. The senator stated, "She lied before the joint committees on women, children, family relations, and gender equality; migrant workers; and public order and dangerous drugs." Guo's election as mayor raises concerns about the integrity of the electoral process and the need for tighter scrutiny of candidates.

The POGO hub in Bamban has been linked to human trafficking, serious illegal detention, and surveillance activities. An unattributed quote captures the sentiment: "Binababoy tayo sa ating sariling bayan!" (They're making a mockery of our laws and political system in our own country!). As the investigation continues, it remains to be seen what further revelations will emerge about Mayor Guo's background and the extent of her involvement with the illegal gambling operation in her town.

Key Takeaways

  • Philippine Senator Risa Hontiveros investigates Bamban Mayor Alice Leal Guo over possible connections to illegal POGO hub.
  • Guo's identity and citizenship are questioned amid allegations of human trafficking and surveillance activities.
  • Guo denies involvement in POGO operation, but Hontiveros claims she lied.
  • Guo's background is shrouded in mystery, with conflicting documents and no school records.
  • Hontiveros suspects Guo might be a Chinese "asset" trained to infiltrate the Philippine government.