Authorities in the Philippines have lodged a qualified human trafficking complaint against suspended Bamban, Tarlac “POGO Mayor” Alice Guo at the Department of Justice (DOJ). The complaint, filed on Friday by the Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Commission (PAOCC) and the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG), centers on alleged violations of the Philippines Republic Act (RA) 9208, also known as the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003.

DOJ accepts complaint against Guo:

The DOJ has officially accepted the complaint against Guo, also known as “Guo Hua Ping,” along with several others implicated in the case. This includes Dennis Cunanan, former deputy director general of the Technology and Livelihood Resource Center (TLRC), and 12 officers and incorporators of three companies. Guo’s alleged business partners, Huang ZhiyangZhang Ruijin, and Baoying Li, are also named in the complaint.

The charges stem from a raid conducted earlier this year at the Philippine Offshore Gaming Operator (POGO) hub operated by Zun Yuan Technology Inc. in Bamban town. During the raid, authorities seized substantial documentary evidence, which reportedly implicates Guo and others involved.

During a press briefing, DOJ Undersecretary Nicholas Ty highlighted the evidence presented: “Evidences surfaced, like her applying for permits for the former POGO from the local government, and her involvement in the lessor company. Her name also appeared in various documents found in the POGO compound.”

Ty also indicated that additional charges could follow as further evidence is gathered. State Prosecutor Benjamin Samson added, “We discovered Zun Yuan’s operation started with one corporation, Baofu, and then another was created. In one corporation, we found a document with Mr. Dennis Cunanan’s name. After compiling the evidence, we concluded he is part of the grand conspiracy to commit labor trafficking.”

Legal steps moving forward:

With the complaint now filed, the DOJ is moving to process an Immigration Lookout Bulletin Order (ILBO) against Guo. “We can’t deny that anyone charged with a crime is a flight risk, especially with resources to leave the country. However, Mayor Guo and her representatives have expressed she wants to face the allegations,” Ty stated.

As Asia Gaming Brief reports, PNP-CIDG chief Major General Leo Francisco affirmed the commitment to combat illegal POGOs: “In collaboration with PAOCC and other law enforcement agencies, we are strengthening our fight against these illegal POGOs, and the PNP, especially the PNP-CIDG, is united in this effort.”

The filing of this complaint marks a significant development in the legal landscape surrounding POGOs in the Philippines. As investigations continue and legal proceedings unfold, the outcome will likely have implications for similar operations and individuals involved in the industry. Authorities remain steadfast in their pursuit of justice and accountability in combating human trafficking and related offenses.