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DILG tells Napolcom to revoke Bamban mayor’s power over cops

By: Francis Mangosing - Philippine Daily Inquirer | May 21,2024 - 01:05 PM

Bamban Mayor Alice Guo | PHOTO: Official facebook page Sen. Risa Hontiveros

Bamban Mayor Alice Guo | PHOTO: Official facebook page Sen. Risa Hontiveros

MANILA, Philippines — Interior Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr. said on Monday that he has ordered the National Police Commission (Napolcom) to start the proceedings to revoke Bamban, Tarlac Mayor Alice Guo’s control and supervision over the police force in her town.

Local chief executives have control over the Philippine National Police units within their jurisdiction.

“I have instructed the Napolcom to initiate proceedings for the withdrawal of the mayor’s deputization. This means that after this investigation, if there are sufficient grounds, we will withdraw the deputization of Mayor Guo as a consequence or the privileges attached thereto are revoked immediately, including its control and supervision of [the] local police,” Abalos said at a press conference in Camp Crame.

READ: DILG recommends preventive suspension of Bamban Mayor Alice Guo

Under a Napolcom memorandum circular, elected governors and mayors are “automatically deputized” as its representative in their respective areas of jurisdiction.

Link to the illegal activities

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) earlier created a seven-man task force to investigate Guo’s alleged link to the illegal activities of a Philippine offshore gaming operator (Pogo) in Bamban, a second-class town in the province of Tarlac, where she was elected mayor in 2022.

READ: Marcos questions Mayor Guo’s background: ‘No one knows her’

Furthermore, it recommended to the Ombudsman that she be placed under preventive suspension due to “troubling findings of illegal acts.” Abalos said his agency has no power to impose such a penalty, adding that they were ready to file a formal complaint against Guo if requested.

READ: Bamban mayor Alice Guo says she spent just P134,000 in 2022 campaign

Guo’s citizenship issue

Meanwhile, Guo’s Filipino citizenship and the possibility of her being a Chinese “asset” have raised concerns from government officials amid the inquiry into her alleged Pogo links.

Zun Yuan Technology Inc. (ZYTI), a Pogo hub located behind Bamban city hall, was raided by authorities in 2023 and 2024 due to allegations of human trafficking and serious human illegal detention.

The Pogo industry flourished under former President Rodrigo Duterte. But his successor, President Marcos, has been hesitant to push Pogos in the Philippines due to its social costs, citing the crimes linked to them.

In a Senate hearing early this month, Guo admitted that she used to own half of Baofu Land Development Inc., the owner of the property being leased by ZYTI, but claimed that she sold her shares before she ran for mayor.

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TAGS: Bamban Mayor Alice Guo, DILG

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