Who in the world is Alice Leal Guo?

Nobody can tell us, not even Alice herself

By Tony Lopez

Alice Leal Guo now ranks as among the world’s most mysterious people.   

She joins the notorious obscurity of such people as the Babushka lady (the mysterious woman linked to the JFK assassination); Karl Koecher, the Soviet spy who infiltrated the CIA; the Tank Man who challenged a tank at Tiananmen Square, or Jack the Ripper who killed five people in Victorian London’s East End.

Won by a 1% vote margin

On May 9, 2022, Alice of Bambanland, then 36, was elected mayor of a town of 80,000, spending only P134,000 and winning by 1% or by 468 votes, with 16,503 votes out of 32,000 cast for the first two candidates with the highest votes.

As mayor, Alice the Wondergirl, oversaw the operation of a sprawling 8-hectare complex at the back of her City Hall under Baofu Land Development, Inc. She owns the land (8 parcels) which she sold to Baofu, her real estate company.  Its electric bills are in her name. Baofu’s business permits were processed by her office with her own private employees doing the tedious and expensive paperwork. The Boafu property, in turn, is being used by Zun Yuan Technology (previously Haosheng), a huge Chinese programmed offshore gaming operation (POGO) company.

Guo’s accountant of ten years, Nancy Gamo, is also the official representative of the POGO company, Zun Yuan Technology operating inside Baofu. At Senate hearings, Guo denied she knew Gamo. Really?

Mayor Guo enabled the largest POGO hub in Central Luzon. She owns the 8 hectares at the back of her City Hall on which 40 buildings being used by POGO were built at a cost of P6.187 billion, from 2019 to 2022. As an enabler of POGO, Guo gained immense wealth and political power despite a murky background that she refuses to clarify.  How did she become a multi-billionaire despite lack of formal schooling?  “I have been working since age 14,” she says.

Ban POGOs?

The government is seriously considering a total ban on POGOs seen by critics as criminal syndicates gnawing at the fabric of society and promoting crimes like money laundering, cyber scams, human trafficking, prostitution, drugs, gunrunning, securities fraud, corruption of public officials, and lately, surveillance and spying These foreign crime syndicates have partnered with local crime syndicates, corrupted officials, and started acquiring political power, according to Sen. William Gatchalian.  “They are a national security threat,” he frets.

According to state gambling licensing agency Pagcor, POGO is an entity that offers offshore gaming services to players, taking bets, and paying the winning players. The games are done online using the internet, a wifi network and software, exclusively for offshore-authorized players.  Gatchalian wants Pagcor to explain how the Bamban POGO became a crime hub.

A simple person?

Guo claims she is just a simple person, a woman of modest means.  Really?

The hugeness and cost of the (40) buildings, villas, and amenities (including tunnels that rival those of the VietCong) make Guo a multi-billionaire.  

In Senate hearings, it was shown she had over P400 million in assets, P200 million in bank deposits, P250 million in loans, at least 12 vehicles (SUVs, vans and trucks), a helicopter and a race car, a McLaren 620R.  Guo says she sold the heli and uses a GAC GS8 vehicle for her personal use.  The fashion plate sports a Bulgari Serpenti Viper necklace, P11.9 million ($203,000), a Louis Vuitton silk shirt, and a Chanel bag.

A girl who never went to school, Guo is a multi-billionaire.  Her Baofu real estate has buildings worth P6.187 billion.

Since 2019, business was booming inside the Baofu compound until midnight of March 13, 2024, when, following tips of alleged illegal human trafficking and tortured victims, the Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Commission raided the Bamban POGO complex cheek-by-jowl to Guo’s City Hall.

A den of crimes

The raid was like discovering the secrets of the pyramids.  Found by commandos inside Guo’s Baofu were 678 workers – 383 Filipinos, 218 Chinese, 55 Vietnamese, 16 Malaysians, 2 Rwandans, 2 Indonesians, 1 Taiwanese, and 1 Kyrgyz, along with smart phones, sim cards, computers, complex wires and computer boards, and reading materials in Chinese.

Charges, charges, charges

Later, authorities would investigate if Baofu is the GHQ of POGO and other criminal activities—illegal gambling human trafficking, kidnapping, cyber scam, money laundering, prostitution, drugs, securities fraud, illegal immigrants, even perhaps, acts of inhumanity like torture?  

And since Guo is a public official, graft and corruption?

Said an aghast Sen. Risa Hontiveros: “This is a POGO with alleged hacking and surveillance activities. [A] POGO, which brought scams, crimes and human trafficking in the country.”

POGO is worth P400 billion

Nationwide, POGO is a P400 billion a year ecosystem with over one million Chinese players here.

The government has harnessed the vast resources of its investigative, intelligence, police and security agencies.  Leading the charge: The Office of the Solicitor General, the Department of Justice, the Department of Interior and Local Government, and of course, the Philippine National Police.  

The findings so far? Well, says SolGen Menardo Guevara, “it’s complicated.”  Meaning, zero.

The mastermind?

Is Miss Perplexity involved, behind it, or indeed, Baofu GHQ’s owner, master, and mastermind?  After all, Guo is Baofu’s president and 50% owner.

Is Baofu a spy center, for and in behalf of China? Is Miss Guo then a sleeper, the eyes and ears in Central Luzon of the world’s most populous nation and Asia’s superpower?        

At its Senate probe, Senators Risa Hontiveros and Win Gatchalian produced documents linking Guo to POGO and questioned her nationality.   Questioned at the Senate, Guo suffered from severe amnesia.

A love child?

She claims she is a love child, by a rich Chinese businessman, a certain Angelito Guo (aka, Jian Zhong Guo; born in 1958), who impregnated a maid, a certain Amelia Leal (aka Lin Wen Yi; born 1971).  Alice got her birth certificate when she was already 19, in 2005.

Angelito and Amelia both have no birth certificates and have no record of their marriage; so they probably don’t exist, per records of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).   

Another document shows Angelito and Amelia indeed were married, in Tarlac, but on two different dates, October 14, 1982, and January 21, 1987.

Only child

Guo also claims she is only child, born and raised in a piggery farm in a Tarlac village whose name she does not now remember.  Her childhood friends were farm animals.

 She claims she was tutored at home, by a certain Teacher Rubilyn, from elementary to high school, but she does not remember the formal name and circumstances of her sole tutor.  

Senator Risa has produced documents indicating Guo has siblings, two in fact; oh yes, Guo suddenly remembered, she has siblings indeed, but just half siblings, Shiela Leal Guo (born 1984), and Seimen Leal Guo (born 1988 or 1990).  She claimed she did know them at all. 

A family business

 Immigration records and her supposed half-siblings traveled abroad together, along with their supposed parents, Angelito and Amelia.  

Jian Zhong Guo and Lin Wen Yi are co-incorporators of multiple businesses alongside Guo and claimed a similar address in Balintawak, Quezon City, according to the Securities and Exchange Commission and Bureau of Internal Revenue, respectively.

The Ombudsman has suspended Guo, and two Bamban officials, without pay, for a maximum of six months, after the DILG filed charges of grave misconduct, serious dishonesty, gross neglect of duty and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service for allegedly allowing illegal POGOs to operate, even after the place was raided and the Pagcor gaming licenses of Zun Yuan and its predecessor, Hongsheng, were cancelled.  The Ombudsman cited “strong evidence showing their guilt.”