PAOCC files human trafficking case vs. Bamban mayor

By Marita Moaje

June 21, 2024, 4:05 pm

<p>Suspended Bamban, Tarlac Mayor Alice Guo <em>(PNA file photo)</em></p>

Suspended Bamban, Tarlac Mayor Alice Guo (PNA file photo)

MANILA – The Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Commission (PAOCC) and the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) on Friday filed a qualified human trafficking complaint against suspended Bamban, Tarlac Mayor Alice Guo at the Department of Justice (DOJ).

The DOJ received the complaint against Guo, referred to as “Guo Hua Ping”, and several others, for violation of Sections 4 and 6 of Republic Act (RA) 9208 or the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003 as amended by RA 10364 or the Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2012, as further amended by RA 11862 or the Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2022.

Other respondents are former Technology and Livelihood Resource Center (TLRC) deputy director general Dennis Cunanan, 12 officers and incorporators of three companies, and Guo’s alleged business partners Huang Zhiyang, Zhang Ruijin and Baoying Li.

Huang is a fugitive in China, while Zhang and Baoying are allegedly involved in the biggest money laundering case in Singapore.

The cases stemmed from the raid at the Philippine Offshore Gaming Operator (POGO) hub Zun Yuan Technology Inc. in Bamban town in March this year.

The PAOCC submitted two boxes of documents as evidence.

“Lumabas ang mga ebidensya dito tulad ng fact na siya ang nag-apply para dun sa dating POGO (Pieces of evidence such as the fact that she applied permits for the POGO surfaced) from the local government, lumabas din ang kanyang involvement doon sa lessor company, kasama na rin ang ibang ebidensya diyan tulad ng pangalan niya na lumulutang sa mga sabi-sabing dokumento na nahanap sa (Her involvement in the lessor company, as well as other prices of evidence such as her name appearing various documents recovered in the) POGO compound,” DOJ Undersecretary and Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking chairperson Nicholas Ty said in a press briefing.

He said there is a possibility that other cases may be filed against Guo and others, as they are still gathering more pieces of evidence.

During the briefing, State Prosecutor Benjamin Samson said authorities believe that Cunanan is part of a “grand conspiracy.”

He said they discovered that Zun Yuan's operation started with one corporation which was Baofu, and then another corporation was created.

“In one of the corporations, we found a document wherein the name of Mr. Dennis Cunanan appeared. After piecing together the pieces of evidence, we concluded and we decided that he is part of the grand conspiracy to commit labor trafficking,” he said.

As a case has been filed, Ty said the DOJ is now processing the Immigration Lookout Bulletin Order (ILBO) against Guo, which they hope to be signed by Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla next week.

“Hindi naman natin matatanggi na kahit sinong makasuhan ng kriminal ay may flight risk, lalo na kung may resources ito mangibang bansa. Ngunit ito naman kay Mayor Guo, hopefully, hindi naman siya lilipad dahil siya mismo at yung kanyang mga representatives ang nagsabi na nais niyang harapin ang mga alegasyon laban sa kanya (We cannot deny that anyone charged with a crime is a flight risk, especially if they have the resources to go abroad. But in the case of Mayor Guo, hopefully, she will not fly because she and her representatives said she wants to face the allegations against her),” Ty said.

PNP-CIDG chief Maj. Gen. Leo Francisco, meanwhile, vowed to strengthen its fight against illegal POGOs.

“In collaboration with PAOCC and other law enforcement agencies, we are intensifying our fight against these illegal POGOs and the PNP is one with this fight, especially the PNP-CIDG,” he said. (PNA)