DILG Recommends ‘Preventive Suspension’ Against Mayor Alice Guo

Mayor Alice Guo Should Be Suspended, Says DILG

MAYOR ALICE GUO – The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) has recommended a “preventive suspension” against the mayor of Bamban, Tarlac.

In a statement on Friday, May 17, DILG Secretary Benhur Abalos said that on April 5, 2024, they formed a “7-man Task Force” led by Atty. Benjamin Zabala of their Internal Audit Service to investigate Guo’s alleged involvement in illegal Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGO) activities in the province.

The DILG submitted an updated report to the Office of the Ombudsman on May 17, 2024, highlighting serious illegal acts with severe legal implications. The DILG, lacking the authority to directly suspend or dismiss local officials, defers to the Ombudsman for any sanctions against Mayor Guo, as per the Ombudsman’s disciplinary authority under Section 21 of Republic Act No. 6770.

In this regard, the agency recommends that the Ombudsman issue a preventive suspension against Guo to avoid any interference with ongoing investigations. The DILG also affirmed its commitment to cooperate with the Ombudsman and other investigative bodies to protect local institutions and further public interest.

The Senate is currently investigating the mayor’s alleged involvement in POGO activities, where questions about the mayor’s identity were also raised during the hearing.

Meanwhile, House Assistant Majority Leader and AKO Bicol party-list Representative Raul Angelo “Jil” Bongalon suggested during a media briefing on Monday, May 13, that the House of Representatives might conduct a similar investigation into Mayor Alice Guo’s case, following worrying findings from the Senate.

Bongalon highlighted the seriousness of the issue, noting that Guo, allegedly of Chinese origin, registered herself 17 years after her birth, indicating a misuse of laws and procedures. He emphasized this as a national security issue needing government attention. Bongalon also urged the Commission on Elections to carefully check candidates for the 2025 midterm elections to ensure their honesty.

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