Tarlac execs defend Bamban mayor Guo

Tarlac execs defend Bamban mayor

Tarlac execs defend Bamban mayor

Sen. Risa Hontiveros (L) and Bamban Mayor Alice Guo —Senate PRIB/Guo’s official Facebook page

TARLAC CITY, Philippines — Alice Guo is a “very good person.” She is “helpful and easy to get along with.”

So said the president of the League of Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP) in Tarlac province, who came to the defense of Guo, the chapter’s treasurer, when interviewed about the embattled Bamban mayor who is accused of being a Chinese spy.


“We don’t have any problem with her. Progress has come to the sleepy town of Bamban,” said Tarlac’s LMP president, Mayor Estelita Aquino of Moncada town.


READ: DILG probes Tarlac town execs’ ties to illegal Pogo operation

“Every time we see each other, we only talk about what concerns our local government units. We talk about official matters,” she added.

“Tarlac is in [the] limelight in a negative way but I think she (Guo) can get over it,” Aquino said.

Guo’s vice mayor in Bamban, Leonardo Anunciacion, said he found no basis for the mayor’s suspension, as recommended by the Department of the Interior and Local Government.

READ: DILG recommends preventive suspension of Bamban Mayor Alice Guo

Guo is also being investigated for her alleged links with a Philippine offshore gaming operator (Pogo) hub at the Baofu Compound, right behind Bamban’s municipal hall.


Anunciacion said it was “painful” to see Guo being accused of coddling Chinese nationals involved in criminal activities.

But should the mayor be suspended, Anunciacion said he would not oppose it.

“I will just be waiting,” said the vice mayor, 70, who was Guo’s predecessor after having served three terms as Bamban mayor.

‘I’m not a spy’

Guo, 38, took to posting on Facebook on Monday night to explain why she found it difficult to answer personal questions, during a recent Senate hearing that looked into allegations that she was a Chinese agent.

She claimed she grew up with her father on a hog-raising farm where she stayed hidden, being the love child of her father and his housekeeper.

Guo said the questions at the Senate about her identity were “traumatic” because she did not want to revisit her past and drag her 70-year-old father, Jian Zhong Guo, into the controversy over her identity.

In her birth certificate, registered 17 years after Guo’s actual birth, her father, who had adopted the name Angelito, is identified as a Filipino. However, Guo identified him as a Chinese national when she registered her previous embroidery business.

Guo said she hoped her Filipino mother would appear to finally put an end to accusations that she was trained as a Chinese asset.

“I am not connected to the illegal Pogo operations at the Baofu Compound in our town. I’m also not a spy for any country as they allege, or what other politicians think,” she said.

The mayor insisted that she was not protecting Zun Yuan Technology Inc., the Pogo company that authorities raided in March following the escape of a Vietnamese who worked there.

Amid allegations against the company of human trafficking and illegal detention, she said her office had never received complaints about Zun Yuan but would have acted on those complaints if it had.

“As far as I know, Pagcor (Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp.) has an office inside the Pogo hub at the Baofu Compound to closely supervise and regulate the activities of the licensed Pogo firm,” Guo said.


But Sen. Risa Hontiveros said on Tuesday that three of Guo’s business associates were “criminals” involved in multibillion-dollar money laundering operations abroad.

Hontiveros said records from the Securities and Exchange Commission showed that among the incorporators of Baofu Land Development Inc. were Zhiyang Huang, Zhang Ruijin and Baoying Lin.

She said Zhang, a Chinese national, was convicted by a court in Singapore for his involvement in the “largest money laundering case” in the city-state.

Baoying, who holds a passport from the Dominican Republic, is also facing similar charges in Singapore, the senator said.

Guo and one Rachel Joan Malonzo Carreon were also listed as incorporators of Baofu.

“Even if she claims to have divested from Baofu before she ran for public office, the fact remains: She has ties with these criminals,” Hontiveros said.

Hontiveros also welcomed Interior Secretary Benhur Abalos’ recommendation to revoke Guo’s authority to control the local police in her town.

“The mayor should not be given access to our police if she’s also a protector of criminals,” the senator said.

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Guo is expected to appear at the continuation on Wednesday of the Senate inquiry into Pogo activities in Bamban. —with reports from Marlon Ramos and Frances Mangosing

TAGS: Alice Guo, Bamban, Risa Hontiveros

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