Gatchalian insists Mayor Guo a foreigner, cites passport

Gatchalian insists Mayor Guo a foreigner, cites passport

By: - Reporter / @MRamosINQ
/ 05:50 AM June 20, 2024

Gatchalian insists Mayor Guo a foreigner, cites passport

Bamban Mayor Alice Guo —Marianne Bermudez

MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian on Tuesday doubled down on his claim that Bamban, Tarlac Mayor Alice Guo is a foreigner, insisting that she had previously used her Chinese passport to enter and leave the country as a teenager.

Gatchalian said he was convinced that Guo’s real name is Guo Hua Ping, a Chinese citizen who arrived in the country in 2003, as shown by the documents he had secured from the Bureau of Immigration (BI) and the Board of Investments (BOI).

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He was referring to copies of Hua Ping’s Chinese passport and a special investor’s resident visa (SIRV) that the BOI had supposedly granted to her and her family.

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According to the lawmaker, these documents would support suspicions that Guo was not a natural-born Filipino citizen, as she had claimed.

“I’m convinced that Guo Hua Ping is Alice Guo. They are just one and the same,” Gatchalian said in an interview with dwPM.

In fact, he said, the controversial mayor had alternately used her Philippine and Chinese passports in her travels abroad between 2008 and 2011.

READ: Cynthia Villar: Guo has to explain where she came from

He said that Hua Ping’s travel records also showed that she often flew with Lin Wenyi, whom Gatchalian suspected was Guo’s biological mother.

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Documentary proof

“These information came from the (BI). We did not make these up,” said the senator, who had also previously revealed Guo’s alleged link with the illegal Philippine offshore gaming operator (Pogo) in her town.

“She used her Chinese passport at times. She would also use her (Philippine) passport sometimes. She exclusively used her (Philippine) passport in leaving the country only after 2011,” he added.

Gatchalian said they stumbled upon the documents that could prove Guo’s real identity while they were looking for the travel records of her Chinese father, Jian Zhong Guo, who eventually used Angelito as his Filipino name.

Based on the BOI records, he said that Jian Zhong and Lin had applied for an SIRV for themselves and their children when they arrived in the Philippines in 2003.

The state agency had submitted to him documents including Hua Ping’s passport and SIRV, along with those of her supposed parents and siblings.

“When you apply for a visa, you are required to present your most recent picture. And if you look at it, the photo of Guo Hua Ping looks exactly the same as (the mayor’s),” Gatchalian said.

He said this would explain her failure to answer even the basic questions about her personal background, including those pertaining to her childhood, during the Senate hearing.

“That she had to lie to the Senate proves that she did not grow up here because she was born in China,” Gatchalian stressed.

“If you look at the whole picture, (you would see) that we were deceived,” he said. “Imagine that a fake Filipino was able to run as mayor. And if we fail to detect this, she could later serve as (lawmaker) or governor.”

As reflected in her SIRV, Gatchalian said a 13-year-old Hua Ping arrived in the country on Jan. 12, 2003. The document identified Lin as her mother.

Contrary to facts

Guo, however, maintained that she is a Filipino, standing pat on her previous remarks that those questioning her citizenship should present evidence supporting their allegations.

In a statement, her lawyers said the mayor was “prepared to address these allegations fully and transparently.”

“She even stressed the point that ‘he who alleges must prove,’” her lawyers said.

They noted that the claim that Guo is a Chinese national “runs counter to the fact that she is required, and indeed secured, a Chinese visa as visitor of said country whenever she visits China.”

“Mayor Guo asserts her Filipino citizenship based on her birthright, cultural ties and continuous residency in the Philippines. Her belief in her Filipino identity has been consistent, supported by her active participation in local business and community life as well as the people she interacts with,” they said.

In addition, her lawyers said that “many community members” have expressed their intention to issue sworn affidavits to prove that Guo is a Filipino.

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“Legal defenses for her nationality include birthright citizenship, having been born by a Filipino mother out of wedlock and the recognition of Filipino citizenship by Philippine authorities, including the issuance of a birth certificate and a Philippine passport, among others,” they pointed out.

TAGS: Alice Guo, Bamban

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