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PAGCOR defends POGO actions amid criticism from suspended mayor’s lawyer

The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (PAGCOR) has responded to remarks from the attorney of Bamban Mayor Alice Guo, who received a six-month unpaid preventive suspension this week as authorities investigate her alleged connections to a local POGO operator.

Alice Guo, described as the “POGO Mayor”, is accused of assisting the illegal activities of POGO firm Zun Yuan Technology Incorporated. The firm was raided earlier this year on suspicion of involvement in human trafficking and cryptocurrency scams.

Last month, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) filed charges of grave misconduct, conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service, and gross neglect of duty against her. This week, the Office of the Ombudsman issued a suspension order against Alice Guo and two others.

It was disclosed that 49 police officers from the Bamban Municipal Police Station in Tarlac province have been relieved of their duties as the investigation continues.

This week, Guo’s legal representatives, the David & Jamilla Law Offices, issued a statement asserting that the mayor ‘vehemently denies any involvement’ in the POGO operations, placing the blame on PAGCOR instead.

In response, PAGCOR took issue with the statements of Alice Guo’s lawyer, who ‘tried to pass the blame to PAGCOR for the criminal cases filed by the Department of the Interior and Local Government against Mayor Alice Guo.’

The Philippine gaming regulator emphasized that its regulations are ‘clear-cut,’ and when licensees are found violating the terms of their licenses, whether provisional or regular, ‘they are severely fined and penalized, and in the most serious cases, the licenses are revoked.’

In the dispute, PAGCOR noted that they have ‘nothing to do with the issuance of local business permits and licenses.’

‘We are also not responsible for the inspection of buildings that are not under our jurisdiction. We issue licenses based on our own guidelines and the documents submitted by applicants,’ PAGCOR stated on Tuesday.

PAGCOR verified that Zun Yuan Technologies, Inc. was the entity doing business in the compound raided on March 13th. The company held a provisional license from PAGCOR issued on October 19th, 2023.

Zun Yuan’s registered address was the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th floors of A1 Building inside the compound of Baofu Land Development Inc., where PAGCOR sent people to ‘monitor their operations.’

Viviana Chan
Viviana Chan
Viviana Chan is an editor, interpreter, and journalist. With over a decade of experience, she writes in English, Chinese, and Portuguese. Viviana started her career in Macau-based newspapers, where she became passionate about the region's social, financial, and cultural development. Her writing focuses on the economy, emerging industries, gaming development, political affairs, and cross cultural-exchange in the business and cultural domains. She is avid for news and eager to discover and cover stories that generate public relevance.



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