Chinoy businessman’s story draws comparisons to Alice Guo

Sounds familiar? Chinoy businessman’s story draws comparisons to Alice Guo

/ 12:16 AM June 20, 2024

Surigao del Norte Rep. Robert Ace Barbers announced that the LRA and OSG committed to this action during Wednesday’s House Dangerous Drugs Committee hearing.

MANILA, Philippines — Late birth registration. Raised by a Chinese father. Citizenship questions. Possibility of holding a Filipino and a Chinese passport.

It is easy to conclude that these issues point to the suspended Bamban Mayor Alice Guo, but it seems the House of Representatives stumbled on another similar story as Henry Bigay, president of local electrical and light company Omni Philippines, fitted into the description.


During the hearing of the House committee on dangerous drugs on Wednesday, lawmakers could not help but compare Bigay’s case with Guo after it was revealed that Bigay’s father, Yatai International Corporation founder Yang Hua Hong, was not listed as his father in his Philippine birth certificate.


READ: Owner of warehouse storing drugs used fake identity, says Barbers

Only Bigay’s mother, a certain Maria Luisa Bigay, was listed as his parent, but Bigay admitted to having been raised by his father.

“In your letter you said that Maria Luisa Bigay is your biological mother, and she gave birth to you in 1992, but that you were registered three months after your birth, so late registration also. Your mother and your father were never married […] so you grew up with whom as a mother?” Bukidnon 2nd District Rep. Jonathan Keith Flores asked Bigay.

“When I was young, I remember that I was with my father only. It was only my father,” Bigay said.

“Who raised you during those times?” Flores asked again.

“Sa pagka-alaala ko po, tatay ko po (If I remember correctly, it was my father),” Bigay replied.


READ: P3.6-B worth of shabu seized in Pampanga warehouse

Fake identities

When Bigay said that he also has not met his mother, Flores said he hopes the businessman understands why personal details are being asked—because Guo’s testimony before the Senate has opened the possibility of fake identities being used.

“Kasi I hope you understand why we’re asking these questions, especially now that the issue of Alice Guo popped out, because when it comes to acquiring of citizenship especially with late registration, it has become an issue eh, and I hope you understand why we’re asking these questions,” Flores told Bigay.

“It might be personal, but that line of questioning is nothing personal din, I just want to find out because most of the people I know, just to circumvent the prohibition on the ownership of properties, or in the controlling stake in a corporation, usually pretend that they are Filipinos and that’s why we’re very interested in this,” he added.

Santa Rosa City Rep. Dan Fernandez also aired the same sentiments, saying that he hopes Bigay would not mind the questions because of the issues raised at the Senate regarding Guo.

Fernandez said this after Bigay checked his documents to confirm that he is an incorporator of Yatai International Corporation and president of Omni Philippines, raising doubts as to whether he is really aware of the companies he handles.

“I hope you don’t mind Mr. Henry Bigay, the reason why we’re doing this, to ask questions, is to really find out the truth, because it is quite a complex issue already.  \We love our Filipino-born Chinese (citizens), having a Chinese father or mother who chose to be a Filipino. We love them,” Fernandez said.

READ: Over 800 Filipinos, foreign Pogo workers rescued in Tarlac raid

Pretending to be Filipinos?

“What we hate in this committee is those who are pretending to be Filipinos, but are foreigners who want to own our different properties and own different corporations.  And that’s what we want to find out in this committee.  And if you are legitimate, we are proud of you, we are with you […] but if you are a foreigner pretending to be a Filipino, and owning corporations, and different properties, then we are enemies,” he added.

Guo gained notoriety among senators after giving similar answers when asked about her childhood, her father, and her educational background—often citing that he grew up with her father taking care of her on a farm in Bamban.

READ: Guo’s purported ‘mother’ may not exist at all, says PSA official

There have been theories about Guo’s alleged Filipina mother not existing at all, further raising fears that the Mayor is a Chinese spy.  Guo denied this, insisting that she is a Filipino.

The local chief executive was being probed for her alleged involvement in the Philippine Offshore Gaming Operation (Pogo) site in Bamban, which was raided last March 13 due to human trafficking complaints and other grievances.

READ: I am not a spy – Bamban Mayor Alice Guo

Holder of 2 passports

The committee hearing was supposed to end at the latter part of the third hour, but committee chairperson and Surigao del Norte 2nd District Rep. Robert Ace Barbers revealed that Bigay holds both a Chinese and a Philippine passport.

Bigay eventually admitted that he holds both passports and that he certified under oath when applying for and renewing his Philippine passport that he does not have other passports from another country.

Flores said it might have been a practice among Filipino-Chinese individuals, but it needs to stop.

“I’m sure he’s a good businessman, he’s been in the Philippines for so long.  Maybe it’s just a practice among Chinese-Filipinos to do this, but it’s a practice that should stop also, because it’s not only confusing among government agencies that we have, it’s also confusing to the general public,” he said.

The hearings of the House panel were originally about the illegal drugs tracked down by authorities from the Port of Subic in Zambales, to a warehouse in Mexico, Pampanga.

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However, after it was eventually revealed that the warehouse was owned by Empire 999 Realty Corporation, lawmakers dug deeper and found out that the company was owned by a certain Willie Ong, who appears to have used a fake Filipino identity.

Bigay, meanwhile, was present on behalf of his father, who was asked to shed light on Yatai International Corporation’s alleged links to Empire 999 Realty Corporation.

TAGS: illegal drug smuggling, Pharmally, Rep. Dan Fernandez, Robert Ace Barbers

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