Senate committee orders arrest of Guo, immediate relatives

Bamban, Tarlac Mayor Alice Guo.
Bamban, Tarlac Mayor Alice Guo.PNA file photo by Avito Dalan

A SENATE committee cited in contempt suspended Bamban, Tarlac Mayor Alice Leal Guo along with her parents and siblings for failing to attend its inquiry on the illegal activities of Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (Pogo).

During the resumption of the Senate Committee on Women, Children, Family Relations, and Gender Equality probe on the raided illegal Pogo in Bamban on Wednesday, July 10, 2024, Senate President Pro Tempore Jinggoy Estrada moved to issue an arrest order against Guo believed to be one and the same person as Guo Hua Ping, over her resistance to attend the hearing.

Senator Sherwin Gatchalian also moved to cite in contempt Guo’s father Jian Zhong Guo, her alleged mother Wenyi Lin, brothers Siemen and Wesley Guo and sister Shiela Guo.

He also moved to issue an arrest order against Nancy Gamo and Dennis Cunanan, a former deputy director of the Technology and Livelihood Resource Center, who were also implicated in the raided illegal Pogo hub.

These motions were approved by committee chairperson Senator Risa Hontiveros.

“This committee is ordering the arrest of the persons cited in contempt to be submitted to the Senate President for his signature,” said Hontiveros.

Hontiveros also approved the issuance of a subpoena against Jaimielyn S. Cruz, Roderick Paul B. Pujante, Juan Miguel Alpas, Katherine Cassandra Ong, Alberto Rodulfo “Ar” De La Serna, Jonathan Mendoza, Ronelyn B. Baterna, Michael Bryce B. Mascarenas, Stephanie B. Mascarenas, Rodrigo A. Banda, Jing Gu, Xiang Tan, Daniel Salcedo, Jr., Chona A. Alejandre, and Duanren Wu, who are all allegedly linked to the said illegal Pogo firm.

Gatchalian said the investigation would not be completed if these people will not cooperate.

In a letter to the committee, Guo said she could no longer attend the hearing due to health and mental concerns.

Guo said she failed to present a medical certificate in support of her claims as no medical professional wanted to be implicated in the investigation.

"We find her claims in the letter void of credibility," Hontiveros said, seconding Senator Nancy Binay, who expressed the belief that she was just making an excuse.

As of Wednesday, July 10, 2024, the Bureau of Immigration said Mayor Guo does not have any departure records which indicates that she is still in the country.

His father and supposed mother, however, are already out of the country.

Senate President Francis Escudero earlier expressed willingness to sign an arrest order against Mayor Guo, should Hontiveros request it. (TPM/SunStar Philippines)

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