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Philippine authorities to investigate Alice Guo for possible tax evasion

Philippine authorities are set to investigate Bamban Mayor Alice Guo for potential tax evasion.

According to the Philippine News Agency, Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) Commissioner Romeo Lumagui Jr. is directing an investigation into individuals and entities discussed in the ongoing senate inquiry on Alice Guo.

Lumagui emphasizes adherence to due process. In cases where reported income to the BIR doesn’t align with the accumulated property values in the same taxable periods, potential criminal charges for tax evasion may ensue. Such charges can extend to collaborators and corporate executives of entities involved in amassing such assets.

Lumagui reassures the public of the BIR’s oversight of the Senate inquiry. He also stresses that any cash, properties, or wealth presented during the hearings must be supported by appropriate tax payments.

Previously, the Office of the Ombudsman issued a directive to suspend Alice Guo and two additional individuals for a maximum of six months, relating to graft charges filed by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).

Alice Guo, known as the “POGO Mayor”, is accused of allegations related to criminal activities, which are associated with the Philippines Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs).

Regarding the proposal to ban POGOs in the country, Finance Secretary Ralph Recto mentioned that the Department of Finance would conduct a comprehensive analysis of the situation. “It is within the right of the lawmakers to talk about the ban on POGOs. That’s fine with me. I have no objection to that,” he said.

He points out that today, many entities labeled as POGOs are not solely engaged in POGO operations. There are other activities they undertake, yet they were categorized all as POGOs. In this context, Recto said there is a need to examine this closely.

Additionally, Recto also believes that it is necessary to consult with the gaming regulator PAGCOR to verify their earnings from these 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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