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PH Secretary pushes to revoke “POGO Mayor” police control amid ongoing investigation

The Philippines Secretary of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has ordered proceedings to revoke “POGO Mayor” Alice Guo’s control over the local police within her jurisdiction.

According to the Philippine News Agency, Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr. has ordered for the withdrawal of the mayor’s deputization, with a Philippine National Police spokesperson saying the PNP is now awaiting a formal approval of the order, to take effect immediately.

The Philippine Secretary has also recommended that the Office of the Ombudsman suspend Guo for grave misconduct and negligence, due to alleged links to offshore gaming operators (formerly known as POGOs).

The official says that the moves are aimed at preventing Guo from influencing investigations by the DILG or other government agencies.

The story of the “Pogo Mayor” has gripped the attention of the public recently, following a raid on a POGO compound in Tarlac. Guo is the mayor of Bamban, in Tarlac.

Guo has also been the subject of a Senate hearing into her alleged involvement with two illegal POGOs in region: Hongsheng Gaming Techology Incorporated and Zun Yuan Technology Incorporated.

The Senate has been investigating whether allegations that Guo could potentially be a Chinese asset, with the Philippine President, Ferdinand Marcos Jr., even weighing in on the issue over the weekend.

President Marcos, Alice-Guo_-Tarlac_-Philippines, POGO Mayor

“There’s […] an ongoing investigation by the Senate. So let’s allow the executive side and the legislative side to do the work and continue our investigation. So far there are no definitive conclusions yet,” the President noted.

The top official was also responding to questions over photos taken with the Bamban Mayor, noting the large number of selfies he takes with individuals while on the campaign trail.

The DILG has recommended that Guo be placed on preventive suspension and a seven-person task force has been created to investigate her alleged links to illegal POGO operations in her area.

A report was submitted on May 17th to the Office of the Ombudsman, which indicate that “there are troubling findings of serious illegal acts which may have severe legal implications,” according to the DILG Secretary.

The DILG does not have the power to suspend or dismiss local officials directly.

Guo was directly elected as the first female mayor of Bamban, but questions have surfaced about her background which she appears unable to answer.

Numerous inconsistent responses to the Senate inquiry and an apparent inability to remember much of her own background have stoked concerns over Guo’s suitability for the role.

The mayor maintains that she has no involvement in the illegal POGO operations and that her links to Chinese nationals purely relate to business and her hog-raising enterprise.

Kelsey Wilhelm
Kelsey Wilhelmhttps://agbrief.com
Kelsey Wilhelm is a broadcast, print journalist and editor based in Asia for over 15 years. Focused on content creation, management, cross-cultural exchange and interviews for multi-lingual productions. Writing focus on gaming, business, politics, culture and heritage, events and celebrities, subcultures, music, film, art and fashion. Some of Kelsey's specialties are: editing, writing, copy creation, multi-lingual content production, cross-cultural exchange, content creation and management for Asian markets.

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