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Saturday, July 13, 2024

Sotto expels Mayor Guo from NPC over crime raps

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Suspended Bamban, Tarlac Mayor Alice Guo, who is facing various criminal allegations, including graft and qualified human trafficking, has been removed from the National People’s Coalition (NPC), the party’s chairman Vicente Sotto III confirmed on Sunday.

In a letter addressed to Governor Susan Yap, the provincial chairperson of the NPC in Tarlac, Sotto noted that the party will not tolerate any unlawful act or any appearance of impropriety from its members that will undermine the principle of the organization.

“In this regard, after due consultation with the leaders and members of our party and considering the gravity of the charges and ongoing investigations, I hereby order the removal of Mayor Alice Guo from the roster of members of the NPC,” the former Senate President told Yap.

In light of this development, Sotto said he will direct NPC Secretary General Mark Llandro Mendoza, the incumbent chief of the Presidential Legislative Liaison Office, to implement the said Order and inform Guo of her removal from the party.

In a Viber message, Sotto told the Senate media that as NPC chairman, he received the petition through a letter dated June 17 from Yap, requesting him to take action on their prayer for the expulsion of Guo from their party roster.

At present, Guo is under a six-month preventive suspension order by the Ombudsman due to a graft complaint, among other administrative charges, filed by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).

Also recently, the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) and the Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Commission (PAOCC) filed a non-bailable qualified human trafficking charge against Guo and other individuals in connection with the illegal Philippine Offshore Gaming Operations (POGO) in Bamban. 

In a separate statement, NPC stalwart Senator Sherwin Gatchalian said Guo’s alleged deceit with respect to her true identity and involvement in illegal POGO firms that were perpetuating various crimes violate the core values of their party—integrity, honesty and patriotism.

As member of the NPC Advisory Council, Gatchalian said he fully supports her expulsion from the party. “It would be very difficult for members of the party to govern with integrity and probity if we cannot discipline our own ranks,” he said.

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