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Saturday, June 22, 2024

Lawmakers back ‘quo warranto’ case vs Bamban Mayor Guo

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Lawmakers from the House of Representatives welcomed the plan of the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) to file a quo warranto case against Mayor Alice Guo of Bamban, Tarlac, calling it a necessary step to uphold the integrity of public office.

Reps. Bienvenido Abante Jr. (Manila, 6th District) and Zia Alonto Adiong (Lanao del Sur, 1st District) said it is imperative to ensure that public servants fulfill all requirements for holding public office.

“You know this is a big deal. This Bamban Mayor Alice Guo, [based] on her answers, let’s see if she is really Filipino… She should not be a mayor if she cannot prove that she is Filipino. She should just be removed as mayor,” Abante said in Filipino.

Solicitor General Menardo Guevarra has confirmed that his office is currently gathering relevant information on Guo’s case, potentially leading to the filing of a quo warranto against her.

Quo warranto is a writ calling upon a person to show by what authority they claim an office, franchise, or liberty.

Guo is under investigation in the Senate for her alleged involvement in an illegal Philippine Offshore Gaming Operation (POGO) hub, alongside questions surrounding her identity as a Filipino citizen.

Senators have raised doubts regarding Guo’s citizenship status, pointing out the absence of official records to substantiate her claim as a Filipino citizen. Some have even questioned whether Guo holds citizenship in China.

Abante underscored the importance of verifying Guo’s Filipino citizenship, citing concerns over potential foreign influence.

“China not only wants to control the West Philippine Sea, it also wants to control the entire Philippines, even our universities,” Abante said, referring to China’s aggressive actions in the disputed territory and the influx of Chinese students in Cagayan province and other parts of the Philippines.

In a similar vein, Adiong underscored the importance of preserving the integrity of electoral process and protecting the rights of natural-born Filipinos.

He cited the significance of ensuring that public officials meet the requirements set forth by the Constitution, particularly regarding citizenship.

“It is said in the Constitution that if you are a natural-born citizen, isn’t that one of the requirements for holding a public office, especially if elective position?” Adiong pointed out.

Moreover, Adiong raised concerns over Guo’s failure to provide the necessary documents to support her citizenship claim.

He emphasized the rigorous process involved in late registration of birth certificates and questioned Guo’s inability to recall details of her past during the recent Senate hearings.

“Based on her answers during the committee hearings, she cannot remember,” the lawmaker noted.

At the same time, Adiong raised personal concerns regarding the citizenship acquisition process, particularly its apparent inconsistencies and inefficiencies.

Beyond the specifics of Guo’s case, Adiong called attention to broader issues within the citizenship acquisition process, urging a comprehensive review of local registry procedures.

He cited instances where individuals seemingly obtained citizenship with relative ease, emphasizing the need for stricter oversight to prevent abuses.

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