Senator says Guo’s live-in partner runs POGO; mayor says she has no boyfriend

(ABS-CBN NEWS) MANILA — Bamban Mayor Alice Guo on Monday said she was single after a senator claimed that she has a live-in partner with ties to Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs). 

Senate President Pro Tempore Jinggoy Estrada earlier in the day said he received information that Guo’s partner supposedly manages POGO operations. 

Guo denied that she is in a romantic relationship and rejected claims that she has a POGO business.

“Wala po akong boyfriend. Wala po akong partner… Wala rin po akong POGO business, your honor,” Guo told lawmakers as the Senate resumed its inquiry into alleged POGO crimes in her town.

In an exclusive interview with Karen Davila this week, Guo said that after POGOs in her town were linked to human trafficking and scams, she would ban them from Bamban.  

“Now as long as I’m mayor I will no longer allow any POGO operation in my town,” Guo told Davila.  

“Sa sarili kong bayan ayaw ko na po. I will never tolerate, at ayaw ko na rin na magkaroon ng any POGO operation sa sarili kong bayan.”

EXCLUSIVE: Bamban Mayor Guo says she will ban POGOs

The Bamban mayor said she allowed POGOs in her town because of the economic opportunities they would bring, and because they had licenses from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp.

Guo’s name was linked to POGOs after Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian questioned asked why the Bamban mayor seemed to be unaware of the illegal activities that POGOs were doing in her jurisdiction.

This was after law enforcers raided the Zun Yuan Technology Inc compound in Bamban in March this year, where around 875 people were rescued, including 432 Chinese nationals, 57 Vietnamese, 8 Malaysians, 3 Taiwanese nationals, 2 Indonesians and 2 Rwandans.

[EXCLUSIVE] Guo denies being a Chinese spy: ‘I am a Filipino, I love my country’

Meanwhile, Estrada told ANC that his stand on allowing POGOs in the Philippines has changed.

“During my previous interviews made late last year with regard to POGO, lagi ko sinasabi, I am for POGO just as long as it’s licensed by PAGCOR so we can generate job. But ‘yung mga haoshiao, colorum na POGO kailangan matanggal lahat ‘yan,” Estrada said.

“Now, because of recent events, I say I am inclined to ban POGO here in the Philippines,” he said.

READ: DILG recommends stripping Alice Guo of authority over Bamban police