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Mayor Alice Guo and 7 others cited for contempt, arrest orders to follow

July 11, 2024 Philippines iGaming & Gambling

The Senate has decided to cite suspended Tarlac Mayor Alice Guo, along with seven others for contempt after they failed to appear at hearings on illegal Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs).

The Senate committee on women, children, family relations, and gender equality convened on Wednesday, July 10, and will urge Senate President Francis “Chiz” Escudero to issue arrest orders for Alice Guo as well as Nancy J. Gamo, Dennis Cunanan, Wenyi Lin, Seimen L. Guo, Sheila Guo, Wesley Guo, and Jian Zhong Guo.

During the committee’s fourth hearing, Senator Risa Hontiveros announced, “This committee is ordering the arrest of those cited in contempt, pending approval from the Senate President.”

In a letter sent to the Senate on Tuesday, the controversial mayor explained her absence by citing health reasons, claiming she was not “physically and mentally fit” to go to the Senate hearing. She claimed that she was the “subject of malicious accusations” and targeted with death threats, causing her to seek professional help.

However, Guo said she was having difficulties obtaining a medical certificate from professionals who feared repercussions since they were afraid that “they may also experience the humiliation and ridicule that [Guo is] going through.”

Senator Hontiveros responded, emphasizing, “We cannot allow mental health issues to be used to evade appearing before a Senate committee,” noting skepticism towards the credibility of Guo’s claims. She also mentioned the Senate’s readiness to provide a government doctor if Mayor Guo requested one.

The Senate committee’s decision underscores the seriousness with which it views the matter of POGOs and the obligations of those summoned to participate in the inquiry.

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