Philippines’ Office of the Ombudsman Suspends Mayor and Two Other Officials

The Philippines’ Office of the Ombudsman ordered the suspension of Mayor Alice Guo of the town of Bamban and two other officials pending an investigation against the individuals on May 31st.

The other two officials, Municipal Business Permits and Licensing Office Officer Edwin Ocampo and Municipal Legal Officer Adenn Sigua and Guo, were placed under preventative suspension without pay, but it will not exceed six months.

In the statement, the office said it found “sufficient grounds to preventively suspend Alice Leal Guo, Edwin Ocampo, and Adenn Sigua, considering that there is strong evidence showing their guilt and that their continued stay in office may prejudice the investigation of the case filed against them.”

The office released the document to the public on June 3rd, and it comes as the Department of the Interior and Local Government charged the three individuals over allegations that they allowed illegal Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGO) to operate in the town.

DNA Test and Suspected Parents Left the Philippines

Guo’s suspension comes after her father, Jain Zhong “Angelito” Guo, and her suspected mother, Lin Wen Yi, left the country on May 20th and have not returned, according to Philippine senator Sherwin Gatchalian. The senator said that the DNA test is now no longer possible since both individuals “already flew to another country.” Furthermore, Gatchalian said that because Guo and Yi are Chinese nationals, they can travel to China at anytime and choose not to return to the Philippines.

The DNA test would help Philippine authorities determine Guo’s true identity and nationality by proving that Yi is her true birth mother. If Yi is Guo’s birth mother, then she is a Chinese national because both parents are Chinese nationals. Guo made several comments, alleging that she is the love child of Guo and his then wife’s housekeeper, Amelia Leal.

She also said that her ‘birth mother’ abandoned her after her birth in 1986. However, several individuals said that Yi was known as Guo’s mother when the family lived in the National Capital Region city of Valenzuela.

Philippine Senators Risa Hontiveros and Gatchalian released documents that showed Guo’s ties to Yi. Hontiveros released business documents that showed that Yi was one of the co-incorporators of several companies in Guo’s name. Gatchalian released flight records that showed Yi traveled with Guo’s father approximately 170 times within a seven-to-eight-year time period. While around 70 percent traveled to China, they also traveled to Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, and Thailand.

Analysis

The suspension of Guo and the two other officials indicates that the Philippine authorities have enough evidence to warrant such actions. Guo’s father and Yi’s departure from the Philippines in mid-May indicate that she is likely her mother. The suspensions come after the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) filed grave misconduct, serious dishonesty, gross neglect of duty, and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service charges against Guo and the two officials in the last week of May.

On May 20th, DILG ordered the National Police Commission to “revoke Guo’s deputization” to supervise and control police units in Bamban due to the allegations. The order came after the DILG released a report that contained evidence implicating Guo and the two officials in “serious illegal acts.” However, other agencies are still conducting investigations related to the allegations made against Guo. The investigations will likely lead to the discovery of more information related to both Guo’s alleged illegal acts and any connections she may have to the groups operating the POGOs.

Guo’s father and suspected mother’s departure from the Philippines on May 20th point to Yi likely being her true birth mother. Both individuals chose to leave the country to hinder the investigation into Guo’s past, especially her mother’s identity. Guo’s past comments and testimonies that provided inconsistent information or vague answers to the questions asked by Hontiveros and Gatchalian in early May were likely the catalyst for them to leave the country. Furthermore, the information provided by individuals who knew the Guo family when they lived in Valenzuela also provides strong evidence that Yi is Guo’s mother.

Philippine authorities wanted Guo to undergo a DNA test to provide clarification and determine if Yi is her mother. The test would also allow authorities to determine if Guo is a Philippine citizen and whether she lied on her application to receive her birth certificate and run in the 2022 mayoral election. However, the probe into Guo’s true identity would cause the Philippine Congress to make changes to the country’s birth certificate system to remove loopholes that foreign nationals can use to become citizens.

Joaquin Camarena
Joaquin Camarena
Joaquin the panda began Sino Talk in 2022 primarily to give an objective, unbiased view on China related topics as well as other issues related to the Indo-Pacific region. He spent several years studying and traveling throughout China and many countries in the Indo-Pacific region. In another life, the panda was also a U.S. Marine intelligence analyst who enjoyed bamboo MREs and drinking bourbon and soju. Indo-Pacific Division Desk Chief for Atlas News.

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