Ex-senator: BI may enforce warrantless arrest vs. Guo

Bureau of Immigration, Manila (File photo)
Bureau of Immigration, Manila (File photo)

MANILA – The Bureau of Immigration (BI) may enforce a warrantless arrest against suspended Bamban, Tarlac Mayor Alice Guo for identity theft and serious violations of immigration laws, former senator Leila de Lima said Friday.

De Lima made the statement after the National Bureau of Investigation confirmed that Guo’s fingerprints matched those of Guo Hua Ping, a Chinese national who entered the country in 2003.

The former Department of Justice secretary said the agency should treat Guo’s case as a simple immigration case where a legal warrantless arrest can be enforced for violation of immigration laws, instead of waiting for the filing of criminal cases before the courts.

“Since Bamban mayor Alice Guo is not the real Alice Leal Guo, but a 2003 Chinese child immigrant identified as Guo Hua Ping, and who merely stole the identity of the real Alice Leal Guo, the immediate legal remedy against her is a warrantless arrest by the BI,” de Lima said.

“It would also be then unnecessary to still file a quo warranto case against her if the purpose solely is to put her immediately under preventive detention and stop her from performing her spurious position as mayor of Bamban after the lapse of her current preventive suspension period,” she added.

Guo could be placed at the BI deportation facilities pending her trial for multiple criminal offenses, she pointed out.

If convicted, De Lima said Guo should only be deported to China after serving her sentence.

Guo, whose identity and citizenship have been placed under scrutiny, was placed under a six-month preventive suspension without pay by the Office of the Ombudsman on May 31 following the administrative complaints of the Department of the Interior and Local Government for grave misconduct, serious dishonesty, gross neglect of duty and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service.

On Tuesday, the DOJ said it has issued an Immigration Lookout Bulletin Order against Guo and 17 others after the filing of human trafficking cases against them in connection with the Philippine Offshore Gaming Operation (POGO) hub in her municipality.

Aside from the human trafficking complaint, the Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Commission is also mulling more charges against the mayor, this time, in connection with her alleged involvement in illegal POGO hubs in Porac, Pampanga.

On Friday, the Commission on Elections said it is also looking into filing a criminal case against Guo for supposedly making false claims in her Certificate of Candidacy when she ran for mayor in the 2022 elections. (PNA)

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