Senate of the Philippines

5 things that don’t add up in Mayor Alice Guo’s Senate testimony

Bonz Magsambol

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5 things that don’t add up in Mayor Alice Guo’s Senate testimony

HOT SEAT. Mayor Alice Leal Guo answers questions from senators during the continuation of the public hearing on the raided Philippine Offshore Gaming Operator facility in Bamban, Tarlac, on May 22, 2024.

Angie de Silva/Rappler

Instead of giving answers, controversial Mayor Alice Guo leaves the Senate with more questions

MANILA, Philippines – Controversial Mayor Alice Guo of Bamban, Tarlac, faced the Senate for a second time on Wednesday, May 22, as the chamber continued its probe into her supposed involvement in illegal Philippine offshore gaming operations (POGOs) in her province.

But instead of giving answers, she left the Senate with more questions.

“Is this mayor, who was born on a farm, taught by literally one person from Kinder to high school then didn’t go to college, a Chinese spy? A big time money-launderer? An enabler of scams and human trafficking? None of the above? One of the above? Or all of the above?” Deputy Minority Leader Risa Hontiveros rhetorically asked at the start of the hearing.

Rappler lists down five things that don’t add up in Guo’s testimonies and in her answers during the four-hour-long Senate inquiry on Wednesday.

1. She doesn’t know her siblings.

Guo said in previous testimonies that she didn’t know her own siblings, named Sheila and Seimen Guo. But travel records from the Bureau of Immigration showed that they had traveled together at least thrice.

5 things that don’t add up in Mayor Alice Guo’s Senate testimony

The two siblings are also listed as Guo’s co-incorporators in a number of companies, such as QJJ Meat Shops Inc., 3LIN-Q farm Inc, QJJ Embroidery Center, Inc., QJJ Slaughter House, Inc., QSEED Genetics, Inc., RK-Land Development, Inc., and The Siopao Bulilits, Inc.

“Why would you lie to something like this that can easily be checked?” Hontiveros asked.

Guo said she only lied about it to protect them. “Kaya po ang naging sagot ko is I don’t know, hindi ko po alam, dahil ayaw ko pong madamay ang ibang tao…. Pribado po silang tao.

(The reason I would always answer “I don’t know” was because I didn’t want to implicate other people. They are private people.)

2. She’s an only child, and only has half-siblings.

In an exclusive interview with journalist Karen Davila on Monday, May 20, Guo said that she has paternal half-siblings. She claimed that she was a love child of Angelito Guo, a Chinese, and Amelia Leal, a Filipina who worked as a house help for Angelito’s wife.

Hontiveros, however, was able to retrieve the birth certificates of the mayor and her supposed half-siblings, Sheila and Seimen. Their birth certificates indicate that they have the same mother, Amelia.

“I note that the information contained in these documents is necessary to present in these hearings for the Senate to properly carry out its authority to conduct investigations and ferret out the truth behind these issues we are confronting, thus constituting an exception to the Data Privacy Act,” Hontiveros explained.

3. Her parents have no birth and marriage records, but their children’s birth certificates say otherwise.

Hontiveros also flagged that Guo’s parents don’t have birth records.

“Walang birth record at all sina Angelito Guo at Amelia Leal. So, maitatanong talaga, hindi po kaya Angelito Guo and Amelia Leal Guo don’t even exist?” Hontiveros asked.

(Angelito Guo and Amelia Leal don’t have birth records at all. So it will make you wonder, is it possible that Angelito Guo and Amelia Leal don’t even exist?)

Guo claimed that her father Angelito is Chinese while her mother Amelia is Filipino. Eliezer Ambatali of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said that it’s possible that Amelia is not a real person.

“Posible [bang] si Amelia Leal, hindi totoong tao? (Is it possible that Amelia Leal is not a real person?) Senator Sherwin Gatchalian asked Ambatali.

The resource person replied, “Maaari po (Possible).”

Hontiveros also revealed that there’s no marriage record available for Angelito and Amelia, contrary to what was indicated in the birth certificates of the Guo siblings.

“Nung ipina-check ko po, wala pong record ng kasal sina Angelito Guo at Amelia Leal. Okay? So ‘yan ang sinasabi po ng PSA certification natin,” Hontiveros said.

(When I asked to check documents, there’s no record that Angelito Guo and Amelia Leal got married. That’s what our PSA certification tells us.)

4. She is a simple person, but has 16 vehicles and hundreds of millions in assets.

Guo claimed that she’s only an ordinary person despite living a luxurious lifestyle. At least 16 vehicles were under her name and she owns different properties in the province, based on Hontiveros’ presentation.

“Ipinipilit ‘nyo na simpleng tao lang kayo, pero ang laman ng SALN ‘nyo ay daan-daang milyong piso,” Hontiveros said. (You’re insisting that you’re a simple person, but your Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth indicates that your assets run up to hundreds of millions of pesos.)

The exact worth of Guo’s assets, as indicated in her latest SALN, was not revealed during the hearing.

5 things that don’t add up in Mayor Alice Guo’s Senate testimony
5. She didn’t know the POGO representative, who is involved in her businesses.

Guo initially denied that she knew a certain Nancy Gamo, who was the representative of the raided POGO company Zun Yuan Technology Incorporated.

“Hindi ko po siya kilala (I don’t know her), Your Honor,” Guo said, when asked about her relationship with Gamo.

Unconvinced, Hontiveros said that Guo was lying. The senator said that Gamo was linked to all businesses under Guo’s name. This constituted a conflict of interest because since, as mayor, Guo was also the one approving business permits for Gamo.

“Kayo ‘yung approving authority para sa Zun Yuan dahil mayor na kayo noon na itong lahat, tulad ng Zun Yuan representative si Nancy Gamo, at siya naman ay involved sa bawat isa sa mga businesses ‘nyo dito,” Hontiveros said.

(You were the approving authority for Zun Yuan because you were already a mayor at that time. Zun Yuan representative Nancy Gamo was involved in all your businesses.)

The senator said that this could be a violation of the Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

Later on, Guo admitted that she knows Gamo. “‘Yung Nancy Gamo po, siya po ‘yung nag-prepare po ng documents ko po dati,” she said. (Nancy Gamo was the one who prepared my documents from before.)

Hontiveros said her committee had invited Gamo to attend the hearing, but she hadn’t reply yet. If she still wouldn’t appear in the next hearing, she would be subpoenaed, according to Hontiveros.

Senators were probing Guo’s alleged involvement in the two illegal POGOs – Hongsheng Gaming Technology Incorporated and Zun Yuan Technology Incorporated, located in the Baofu Compound. She admitted that she helped Hongsheng Gaming get the municipal council’s approval to operate in Bamban when she was still a private citizen. At the time, she owned half of Baofu. She claimed that she sold it just before she ran for mayor.

Things heated up as senators found out that surveillance activities and even the hacking of government websites were traceable to the raided POGO firms. But the controversial mayor insisted that she’s not a Chinese spy, she is a Filipino, and she will never leave Tarlac.



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  1. RB

    If Guo is under oath at testimony, why isn’t she being held pending the outcome of the investigation? She can easily escape if she feels threatened. The rest of the POGO’s need to be investigated due to their close proximity to Defence Bases.

  2. ET

    At least she has filed her SALN. Does anyone remember who holds the highest rank in the government but is not filing their SALNs? Can they be considered worse than this mayor regarding the Principle of Transparency?

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Bonz Magsambol

Bonz Magsambol covers the Philippine Senate for Rappler.