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Executive Senate session called to investigate Bamban Mayor’s POGO links

The Philippines Senate Committee on Women, Children, Family Relations, and Gender Equality will hold an executive session to investigate Bamban “POGO Mayor” Alice Guo‘s unexplained assets and potential ties to Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs).

According to the Philippine News Agency, Senate Deputy Minority Leader and committee chairperson Risa Hontiveros announced that relevant agencies would be invited to this session, which will be followed by a public hearing.

Hontiveros emphasized that the findings from the executive session would shape the committee’s next hearing and strengthen their final report. She also noted that it remains undecided whether Mayor Alice Guo will be invited to the session.

The committee chairperson also clarified that the investigation is not an attack on Filipino-Chinese heritage and highlighted evidence suggesting Mayor Guo’s involvement in POGO-related crimes.

The committee’s previous hearings revealed the proliferation of fake identification documents, indicating how Chinese POGO syndicates have acquired fraudulent Filipino identities through corruption.

A raid on a POGO operation in Bamban uncovered hacking and surveillance activities, underscoring the need for the Senate to investigate these security issues.

“This is about national security, criminal activities, accountability in public service, the rights and welfare of women and children, and the systemic failure to regulate POGO operations,” Hontiveros stated.

In a related matter, Senate President Francis “Chiz” Escudero clarified his earlier comments, explaining that if Guo’s Chinese citizenship is alleged, it must be proven.

The Philippine Commission on Elections (Comelec) recently also announced that Guo would still be eligible to run for reelection in next year’s midterm elections despite facing a pending preventive suspension.

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