North Luzon Monitor

North Luzon

Alice and this hinterland

Gherald Edaño
Latest posts by Gherald Edaño (see all)

You know your age is catching up on you when politics and senate hearings become more tasteful. Nevertheless, the ongoing inquisition in the persona of Bamban Mayor Alice Leal Guo seems missing lots in hindsight for me. Hearings like this are supposed to give more answers but looks like it is creating more questions.

I see that Senators Risa Hontiveros and Loren Legarda mean well in knowing the personal background of Mayor Alice Guo, nevertheless, it is the first in the checklist in interrogating someone accused of espionage. But it should not dwell more time there especially that they keep getting repetitive answers, thus seems the events more like a citizenship interview – prove to us how Filipino are you!

I also agree with Senate President Chiz Escudero that the burden of proof lies on the accusers, hence the Senate Committee.

How about we move on with the questions, the real questions – when was the last time she visited mainland China? where are her siblings? When can we summon her siblings? Where is the PSA to produce all birth certificates of all her Guo relatives? How about the birth and death certificate of the father? Who was her Chinese contacts? Did we not already establish that she has ties with criminals? Where are the proofs? Where are evidence of their ties? Can we not ask help from our own investigative and intelligence authorities? If she has forgotten her childhood, how about we move closer? Where was she from 2016 until 2022? What was her business during these years, the height of close relations between the former president and China? or shake the nest – ask Chinese authorities if they have Alice Guo in their system, let’s see if they will cooperate – token of friendship right?

If she really is a spy, ask her about the tradecraft. Ask her about West Philippine Sea! what is her opinion on the recent events? Bamban is very close to Subic and Clark military bases. Have we determined anyone recruited by her or at least influential Filipino officials she is in contact with? Who was she in contact with in the past seven years? Who are the Filipino officials under her influence if there are any and the interrogate them. Because, what if she really is not a spy, just a corrupt Chinese-Filipino politician who got handy and wealthy from POGO ops? And if she is a spy, what can we make out of this?

But to me, this is bigger than Alice Guo. Usually, when someone is put in this kind of spotlight with heavy accusations such as being “criminal” and now a “spy,” you really have to push back, but Mayor Guo is not doing that. It seems like she is comfortable being a “fall guy.” This makes me think, is she really the “guy” we are supposed to be looking at? What is the big picture?

Another point, notice how many Filipinos come in defense of Guo. Isn’t that alarming? Seeing all these “Alice baddie” “Gup baddie pics” in social media?

With these hearings, here are what I can make out of it so far: Alice Guo may or may not be a spy, but surely, she is a politically corrupt with all these POGO involvement, another typical and textbook example of bossism. Second, Filipinos have a demented and misplaced standard of political leadership, doesn’t matter how much millions you have pocketed, face card can win. Third, these senate hearings, unless they produce more answers on the real threat of Guo and POGO in our national security, are nothing but mere grandstanding.

If these issues do really matter, the committee must work harder, maybe employ some tradecraft themselves. Because if these accusations are true, we must act fast to counter them. The Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC), NBI, and even our own “CIA”, the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA) or even the Defense department should be, at least, involved to resolve the truth of these matters. As a former lecturer of national security, my interest here is our national security interest – is Alice Guo and POGO a national security threat? If yes, we must assess for any security damage and come up with a strong security response that is appropriate to contain it. Otherwise, we are just another hinterland, that makes wonders for this Alice and whoever Queen of Hearts she works for.

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