Juxtaposed: Alice Guo’s no-show at Senate, Quiboloy’s arrest evasion

July 9, 2024 - 6:54 PM
Photo shows Apollo Quiboloy and Alice Guo (The Freeman/Facebook; Risa Hontiveros/Facebook)

The public likened Bamban, Tarlac Mayor Alice Guo‘s absence in Senate hearings to the case of fugitive Kingdom of Jesus Christ (KOJC) leader Apollo Quiboloy Apollo Quiboloy who has been wanted for his trafficking and sexual cases.

Guo’s lawyer, Stephen David announced on Monday that his client will not attend the Senate hearing scheduled on Wednesday for the second time because the mayor is “mentally unfit” to endure the continued probe against her.

The controversial mayor is still being investigated for her alleged ties to the raided Philippine Offshore Gaming Operator (POGOs) in Tarlac and Pampanga, involved in human trafficking and other crimes. Guo is also being probed for the questions and inconsistencies hounding her identity.

READ: More questions raised after NBI doc bares another Alice Guo with same birthday

Sen. Risa Hontiveros, chair of the committee on women, children, family relations, and gender equality who has been leading the Senate inquiry into POGOs, called out the mayor on Facebook, stating that she is not the only one mentally affected by the development in the hearings. Hontiveros earlier ordered to summon Guo.

“Hindi lang siya ang traumatized. Ang mga human trafficking victims — mga dayuhan at mga Pilipinong pilit na pinagtrabaho sa POGO scam compounds — ang traumatized. Pati ang sambayanang Pilipino traumatized na may Chinese national na naging Mayor ng Pilipinas,” Hontiveros stressed.

“Mental health is important but she cannot invoke it to escape accountability, lalo na na public servant siya,” she added.

The senator also warned Guo of the risks of getting arrested if she refuses to attend the hearing on Wednesday. According to reports, Senate President Chiz Escudero said he is willing to sign the arrest order against Guo in case Hontiveros requests for it. 

Meanwhile, Quiboloy is still at large amid the arrest orders against him. The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) earlier urged the KOJC leader to turn himself into the Philippine National Police.

The DILG also announced a P10 million reward for those who will provide information on Quiboloy’s whereabouts.

The agency said that former President Rodrigo Duterte could also face charges of justice obstruction after he refused to give the pastor’s location despite allegedly knowing where he was hiding.

Quiboloy’s lawyer, Ferdinand Topacio, stated that his client does not trust the justice system and will not surrender.

Evading arrest?

Guo’s announced absence from the Senate has sparked concern among Filipinos, who speculate about the similarities between her case and the pastor’s current hiding.

“From Quiboloy to Guo, why are they so untouchable?” John Paul Tanyag, a market surveillance analyst, wrote on X. 

“Apply the full extent of the law on Alice Guo. Arrest her if she is a no-show at the Senate probe or else we will have another fugitive from justice like Quiboloy and Bantag,” another online user said.

Some are worried that Guo might be trying to escape authorities.

An X user remarked that she has “gone rogue just like Quiboloy!”

“We’ll see when this case reaches the Court if she will do a Quiboloy,” another commented, referring to the pastor’s fleeing behavior.

In late June, the Bureau of Immigration (BI) has implemented the immigration lookout bulletin order issued by the Department of Justice against Guo.

“BI Commissioner Norman Tansingco shared that his office received the 3-page ILBO dated June 21 from the DOJ issued against Mayor Alice Leal Guo, a certain Guo Hua Ping, and 17 others,” the BI said.

The ILBO directs immigration officers to double check if there are any pending arrest warrants against Guo and other subjects, any violation or infraction, or to monitor their itineraries and whereabouts should they attempt to leave the country.

Meanwhile, the Senate inquiry on POGOs will resume at 10 a.m. on Wednesday.