DILG suggests suspending Guo

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has recommended placing Bamban Mayor Alice Guo under preventive suspension for alleged “serious illegal acts” involving Philippine offshore gaming operators (POGO).

Interior Secretary Benhur Abalos announced that the task force, under the DILG, has suggested Guo’s suspension to the Office of the Ombudsman for appropriate action.

“The DILG recommended to the Ombudsman the issuance of a preventive suspension against Mayor Guo, to prevent any influence on the continuing investigations of our and other agencies,” Abalos stated.

Abalos did not disclose the specific illegal acts committed by Guo, citing it as a courtesy to the Office of the Ombudsman.

The seven-man task force, led by Benjamin Zaballa of the DILG Internal Audit Service, was created in April to look into the allegations of Guo’s connection to an illegal POGO in her municipality.

Abalos mentioned that their investigation on the citizenship issues surrounding Guo is still ongoing.

He reiterated that any action would be referred to the ombudsman, as it holds disciplinary authority over elected officials of local governments, and the DILG does not have the power to directly suspend or dismiss local officials.

“Solicitor General Menardo Guevarra is gathering information to determine if Guo is illegally ‘holding or exercising a public office,'” Abalos concluded.

In Barangay Patubig, Bulacan, a kagawad confirmed that Guo is involved in an embroidery business registered in the area and also mentioned her engagement in the piggery industry.

Photos of Guo with various politicians have been circulating on social media, prompting senators to dismiss speculations of any close ties with the mayor.Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri and Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian both emphasized that photos do not absolve Guo of her alleged involvement in illicit offshore gambling activities.

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