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Senators grill Bamban, Tarlac mayor over nationality, alleged POGO ties
Senators grill Bamban, Tarlac mayor over nationality, alleged POGO ties
Senators grill Bamban, Tarlac mayor over nationality, alleged POGO ties
by Mary Antalan11 May 2024
Photo courtesy: Sen. Risa Hontiveros

Senators Risa Hontiveros and Sherwin Gatchalian questioned the nationality of Bamban, Tarlac Mayor Alice Guo, and her connection to the raided Philippine offshore gaming operation (POGO) firm in her town.

In a joint committee hearing on Tuesday, Hontiveros and Gatchalian scrutinized Guo regarding her alleged involvement with Zun Yuan Technology Incorporated and Hong Sheng Gaming Technology Incorporated.

On February 20, 2023, Hong Sheng was raided. Hong Sheng was later renamed Zun Yuan, who was also raided in March 2024. These were allegedly due to scam operations, human trafficking and serious illegal detention among Pogo workers.

Gatchalian bared Guo’s alleged ties to the firm, saying that authorities found a billing statement from Tarlac II Electric Cooperative (Tarel Co.) Inc. showing that Zun Yuan’s electric meter was registered under Guo’s name.


Gatchalian also noted that a vehicle seized during the raid was found to be registered under Guo’s name.

Due to these several reasons, Gatchalian believes there are “damning pieces of evidence that Guo might be involved in the operation of [the] Pogo facility implicated in various criminal activities.”

On her part, Guo defended that she is neither “connected” nor a “protector” of Zuan Yuan Technology Inc.

"Unang una po, hindi po ako konektado, hindi po ako operator, hindi po ako protector ng POGO. Wala po akong kinalaman sa kanilang operation at sa kahit anong gawain sa loob at sa labas ng POGO," said Guo.


Meanwhile, Hontiveros made queries to Guo regarding her personal background, such as educational and medical records.

The mayor, however, said she had no school records in the Philippines since she was homeschooled from grade school to high school and that she did not go to college.

"Your honor, wala po akong maalala na mayroong any record po," she answered.

When asked about the institution that provided her homeschooling service, Guo said she could not recall.


Hontiveros also questioned Guo's birth certificate, which was only registered when she was 17 years old, adding where she was born. Guo only said she has no record as she was born at home.

Upon the investigation, senators found Guo with no prior history of public service, asking how she funded her campaign. Guo answered she attributed her political campaign funding to assistance from friends and fellow hog raisers.

The senators further requested the mayor’s statements of assets, liabilities, and net worth, as well as contributions and expenditures in the next hearing.

Hontiveros noted that members of the Municipal Council and residents of Bamban may also be invited.


Guo ran as Bamban's mayor in the 2022 election and became the first female mayor in town.

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