Mayor Alice Guo’s bid to reconsider preventive suspension junked

Mayor Alice Guo’s bid to reconsider preventive suspension junked

06:16 PM June 25, 2024

Alice Guo

May 22 2024
Bamban Tarlac Mayor Alice Guo appears before the Senate as Sen. Risa Hontiveros flagged Guo’s alleged ties to Chinese “criminals” during Wednesday’s continuation of the Senate probe into the mayor’s links to POGO hubs in the latter’s area. INQUIRER/ MARIANNE BERMUDEZ

MANILA, Philippines — The Office of the Ombudsman has denied Bamban, Tarlac Mayor Alice Guo’s motion to reconsider the preventive suspension imposed against her.

The Office of the Ombudsman said its order dated May 31, 2024 stands as the evidence against Guo, Municipal Business Permits and Licensing Office officer Edwin Ocampo, and Municipal Legal Officer Adenn Sigua is strong.

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Guo was suspended for a period not exceeding six months after the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) filed complaints against her for allegedly allowing a Philippine offshore gaming operator (Pogo) in Bamban to engage in illegal activities.

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Among the complaints filed against her were grave misconduct, serious dishonesty, gross neglect of duty, and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service.

“Again, without delving into the merits of the case and without prejudging the same, this Office reiterates its preliminary finding that there are sufficient grounds to hold that the evidence against respondents Guo, Ocampo, and Sigua is strong at this time given Guo’s undeniable business interest in Baofu,” the Office of the Ombudsman said.

Baofu Land Development Inc. is the compound in Bamban, where the Pogo did business. Guo is purportedly the president of Baofu, which purchased eight parcels of land in Bamban in February 2019.

Guo claims to have divested ownership of Baofu, but the DILG believes the P2.5 million she divested it for is “grossly incongruent to her investment in Baufo which is approximately eight hectares of land.”

Guo also gave Baufo a business permit on Oct. 25, 2022 even if the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor) revoked the franchise of Zun Yuan Technology, or its predecessor, Hongsheng, on Oct. 6, 2022.

READ: Alice Guo ordered suspended as mayor of Bamban, Tarlac 

Despite the ruling being unfavorable to Guo, the Office of the Ombudsman assured her that the order was “not a penalty but a preventive measure” to ensure that the investigation would not be hampered.

“The purpose thereof is to prevent the accused from using his position and the powers of his office to influence potential witnesses or tamper with records which maybe vital to the prosecution of the case against him,” it added.

A Senate panel is also investigating her citizenship and the possibility that she is a Chinese “asset” trained to infiltrate the Philippine government.

Guo has repeatedly denied the accusations against her.

However, Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian recently released documents showing similarities between the facial features of Guo and a certain Guo Hua Ping, the daughter of a Chinese national who entered the Philippines in April 2004.

Guo Hua Ping’s file was found in the Guo family’s application for a Special Investors Resident Visa, indicating that Guo Hua Ping’s birth date is August 31, 1990.

READ: Gatchalian: Is ‘Guo Hua Ping’ the real Alice Guo? 

If the suspended mayor and Guo Hua Ping are the same person, she is stated to be born in Fujian, China, and not in Bamban.

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Gatchalian also said that Guo Hua Ping’s mother is Lin Wen Yi, a resident of the Valenzuela City address that the suspended mayor provided the Senate.

Guo has denied claims that her mother is Lin, saying that she is a love child of his father and his father’s Filipina housekeeper.

TAGS: Mayor Alice Guo, Pogo hubs

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