House also wants to probe Bamban mayor

House also wants to probe Bamban mayor

/ 05:42 AM May 16, 2024


Bamban Mayor Alice Guo —photo from Guo’s Facebook page

MANILA, Philippines — House lawmakers are eyeing a parallel probe of Bamban, Tarlac Mayor Alice Guo, who is being investigated by the Senate over allegations she may be a Chinese asset who has infiltrated the government by winning the local post in 2022.

During a regular press briefing, House Assistant Majority Leaders AKO Bicol Rep. Jil Bongalon and La Union Rep. Paolo Ortega said it was “possible” to have a parallel investigation in the lower chamber since the issue could have implications for national security.


READ: Comelec: Bamban mayor may face perjury charge


Shady answers

Under the 1987 Constitution, only Filipino nationals are allowed to run for public office. Guo is suspected of being a Chinese national after it was revealed that she had registered her birth certificate at age 17 and could not even provide basic details about her childhood when questioned by Sen. Risa Hontiveros.

Ortega said that Guo’s answers “were shady,” adding, “How could you not know where you studied, important highlights of your life?”

“This is very serious and, at the same time, very alarming,” Bongalon added, citing previous reports of some Chinese nationals who were able to register themselves as Filipino nationals via late birth registration while others were able to acquire Philippine passports.

READ: Bamban mayor’s background dubious, says Hontiveros

“This is very alarming—they are already manipulating our laws and our processes in the country. This is a national security issue, and we need to pay attention to this,” Bongalon said.

Guo was initially investigated by the Senate for allowing illegal operations at the Philippine offshore gaming operator hub in Bamban. Her case is also being linked to the broader discourse of growing Chinese influence in the country—from the ongoing dispute over the West Philippine Sea to the influx of Chinese nationals and students into the country.


These issues, said Bongalon and Ortega, posed mounting security concerns in the country, especially since they were happening in the middle of worsening tensions with Beijing and its increasing aggression in the West Philippine Sea.

The lawmakers also called for more stringent screening measures for Chinese students entering the country due to mounting security concerns—an issue initially raised by their colleagues, Cagayan Rep. Joseph Lara and Isabela Rep. Faustino Dy.

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“We want to make sure that … students who are interested in entering the Philippines and having their education here … undergo a very [screening] strict process,” Bongalon said.

TAGS: Alice Guo, Bamban, Tarlac

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