Bureau of Immigration

Bamban Mayor Alice Guo, 17 others now on immigration lookout

Jairo Bolledo

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Bamban Mayor Alice Guo, 17 others now on immigration lookout

MAYOR. Alice Guo runs and wins as mayor of Bamban, Tarlac in the 2022 elections. Screenshot from Alice Guo's YouTube page

(1st UPDATE) An immigration lookout is used for monitoring purposes only, and is not 'a sufficient prohibition for a subject’s departure from the Philippines'

MANILA, Philippines – Bamban, Tarlac Mayor Alice Guo and 17 others are now under the Bureau of Immigration (BI)’s lookout bulletin, the immigration bureau said on Tuesday, June 25.

In a statement, the BI said it implemented the immigration lookout bulletin order (ILBO) filed by the Department of Justice (DOJ) issued against Guo and 17 others. BI Commissioner Norman Tansingco said his office received the three-page ILBO on June 21.

The names listed under the ILBO are the following:

Those facing a qualified trafficking complaint

  • Alice Leal Guo a.k.a. Guo Hua Ping
  • Zhang Ruijin
  • Baoying Lin
  • Rachelle Joan Malonzo Carreon
  • Huang Zhiyang
  • Thelma Barrogo Laranan
  • Rowena Gonzales Evangelista
  • Rita S. Yturralde
  • Merlie Joy Manalo Castro
  • Yu Zheng Can
  • Dennis Lacson Cunanan
  • Jaimielyn Santos Cruz
  • Roderick Paul B. Pujante
  • Juan Miguel Alpas

Persons of interest who may be involved in alleged trafficking

  • Katherine Cassandra Li Ong
  • Zhang Jie
  • Wesley Guo
  • Julian M. Linsangan III

The DOJ, in requesting for the ILBO, said that considering the gravity of the cases against Guo and others, they “may attempt to place themselves beyond the reach of legal processes by fleeing the country.” That’s why the DOJ ordered the BI to relay any attempts “to depart to obtain information for the proper course of action to be undertaken by immigration officers.”

Through the ILBO, immigration officers can double check if there are any pending warrants against subjects, if they have any violation or infraction, and to monitor their itineraries and whereabouts if they would attempt to leave the country. The alert is now encoded in the BI system, Tansingco said.

It’s important to note that ILBO’s powers are limited. It is used for monitoring purposes only, and is not “a sufficient prohibition for a subject’s departure from the Philippines.”

There’s a stronger option for the prosecution, the precautionary hold departure order (PHDO), which can allow prosecutors to prevent the subject of a complaint from fleeing the country even before the formal filing of charges. A PHDO can only be used to cases “involving crimes where the minimum penalty prescribed by law is at least six years and one day.”

Guo and 13 others currently face a qualified trafficking complaint over their alleged ties to a raided Philippine offshore gaming operator (POGO) due to complaints of trafficking and illegal detention. Qualified trafficking is a serious offense, non-bailable, and usually carries the penalty of life imprisonment.

The DOJ said it will request to the court this week the issuance of a PHDO.

On Tuesday, the BI also announced that on June 23, it intercepted Zhang Jie, a suspected manager of Lucky South 99. This enterprise was the recently raided POGO in Porac, Pampanga. The Chinese woman is included in the ILBO. She was requested to be included in the list because she is a person of interest “who may also be involved [in] potential violation of anti-trafficking laws.”

Zhang was taken into custody and was transferred to the BI warden’s facility, while waiting for the resolution of the deportation case that will be filed against her, the BI added. – Rappler.com

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Jairo Bolledo

Jairo Bolledo is a multimedia reporter at Rappler covering justice, police, and crime.