Clark Freeport Zone

Authorities search villas allegedly rented by Alice Guo’s business partners

Joann Manabat

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Authorities search villas allegedly rented by Alice Guo’s business partners

VILLA 633. Authorities search homes allegedly being rented by business partners of the embattled Bamban Mayor Alice Guo at Fontana Leisure Parks and Casino in Clark Freeport, Pampanga on June 27.

Joann Manabat/Rappler

The villas are allegedly rented out to fugitive Huang Zhiyang, Zhang Ruijin, and Lin Baoying, Bamban Mayor Alice Guo's fellow incorporators in the Baofu Land Development

CLARK FREEPORT, Philippines – Authorities combed through villas believed to have been rented out to business partners of embattled Bamban Mayor Alice Guo at Fontana Leisure Parks and Casino in Clark Freeport, Pampanga, on Thursday night, June 27.

The Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Commission (PAOCC), together with the Philippine National Police (PNP) Crime Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) and Special Action Forces (SAF), as well as executives from the Clark Development Corporation, served a search warrant against the occupants of Villas Nos. 633, 713, 716, 742, and 767.

The search warrant was issued by Judge Hermenegildo Dumlao II of the 81st branch of the Regional Trial Court, 3rd Judicial Region in Malolos, Bulacan, due to alleged violations of laws against trafficking in persons.

PAOCC Undersecretary Gilbert Cruz said the villas were allegedly rented out to fugitive Huang Zhiyang from the raided Zun Yuan Technology Incorporated in Bamban, Tarlac, as well as Zhang Ruijin and Lin Baoying. They are Guo’s fellow incorporators in Baofu Land Development.

Ruijin was convicted in Singapore’s largest money laundering case in April, while Baoying, who is from the Dominican Republic, is expected by authorities to plead guilty in the same case.

“Ang hinahabol natin dito makuha pa natin yung mga nagpapatakbo ng legal POGO hub sa Pampanga,” Cruz said.

(What we are after here is to get those who run legal POGO hubs in Pampanga.)

Cruz added, “At least nagkakaroon na ng mukha. Alam natin tumatakbo yung isang POGO hub and yet di natin alam sino nagpapatakbo. Now meron na tayong mga mukha. May pangalan na tayo. Maliit nalang ang mundo nila. Anytime mahuhuli na rin itong mga ‘to.” 

(At least they have a face now. We know that there is a POGO hub that is operational, and yet we don’t know who is running it. Now we have faces. We have names. Their world is small now. They will be caught anytime.)

Of the 20 foreigners found during the operation, only one male Chinese was taken to the Nasdake Building in Pasay City for further questioning, according to PAOCC.

SECURITY OFFICER OR DRIVER? A former PNP personnel is found in one of the villas. He is allegedly working for Bamban Mayor Alice Guo and her business partner, Huang Zhiyang, as a security officer. Joann Manabat/Rappler

A former PNP member identified as Arnel Balagtas was also found in one of the villas. He allegedly works as a security aide for Guo as well as for the family of Zhiyang.

“Yung driver saka yung security, chinecheck natin yan. Balak namin siya imbestigahan. Bakit siya nandito? Nagulat nalang kami dati siyang miyembro ng PNP and ano yung participation niya,” Cruz said.

(We will check the driver and security aide. We plan on investigating. Why is he here and what’s his participation? We were surprised when we learned he was a former member of the PNP.)

Balagtas, however, denied that he works as a security aide for Guo. He said he was dismissed from PNP in 2021 before he worked as a driver for the Chinese staff of a junket – a casino marketing program for VIPs or high rollers – inside the freeport zone.

“Mga staff lang. (Hinahatid ko sila) papunta doon sa casino. May schedule sila, minsan umaga, minsan gabi. Nagbabantay sila sa junket pag may player. At naghahatid din ako ng pagkain sa loob,” Balagtas told Rappler.

(They are just staff. I drive them to the casino. They have a schedule, sometimes in the morning, sometimes at night. They keep an eye on the junket when there is a player. And I also bring food to them inside.)

During the search, authorities found billing receipts, a shotgun with five bullets, and nine vaults. Authorities said they will secure permission to break open all vaults found at the villas. –

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