"Am A Love Child": Philippines Town Mayor Denies Being Chinese Spy

The mayor of a small Philippines town who has been accused of being a Chinese spy has rebutted the charges and clarified that she is a filipino.

May 22, 2024 - 02:00
"Am A Love Child": Philippines Town Mayor Denies Being Chinese Spy

The mayor of a small Philippines town who has been accused of being a Chinese spy has rebutted the charges and clarified that she is a filipino. Alice Leal Guo, the mayor of Bamban town in Philippines, is being investigated for her alleged ties to China after she failed to give clear answers when asked about her family background during a senate hearing.

"I want to tell the public is that I am not a Chinese spy. I am a Filipino. I love my own country. I am not an asset," said Alice Leal Guo in an interview to ABS-CBN news. 

According to BBC, she has also said that she is a "love child" of her father who was Chinese and his Filipino maid and that her mother had abandoned her. "I am my father's love child with a maid... It's a very private matter. I can't just tell anyone that my own mother had deserted me," she said.

Ms Guo also said that during the hearing, her mind just "went blank". 

The clarification comes amid heat she has been facing for being an alleged "asset of China". 

Alice Leal Guo is under investigation after an online offshore casino in her town, also called POGO (Philippine Offshore Gaming Operations), was found to be a front for a scam centre. POGOs are online gaming firms for foreign customers, particularly Chinese nationals since gambling there is illegal. As per BBC, the land on which the casino was built was partially owned by Ms Guo. However, she has claimed that she sold her stakes before becoming the mayor in 2022. 

While facing a senate hearing for this, Ms Gua gave vague answers when asked about her childhood and family background. She revealed that her birth certificate was registered when she turned 17 because she was born in a house, not a hospital. She also said that she was home-schooled, however, couldn't give more details about that. 

Ms Guo's inability to share a clear picture of her childhood and her alleged links to the POGO centre in her town raised suspicions about her nationality. 

''Is she, along with others like her who have mahiwaga [mysterious] backgrounds, an asset inserted by China into our government to have a heavy influence in Philippine politics?'' said a senator, Risa Hontiveros, on May 8.

President Ferdinand Marcos has also raised his concerns saying, "I know all the politicians from Tarlac [province], no one knows her. So, we are wondering where she came from. We don't know. That's why an investigation is really needed."

According to South China Morning Post, Ms Gua said that allegations against her regarding the POGO centre didn't affect her, however, the scrutiny she faced over suspicions of being a Chinese spy has "hurt" her. She also said that she hopes to find her mother some day. 

Philippines and China have been embroiled in a diplomatic row over claims on the South China sea. China's territorial claim over the entire sea overlaps with that of other countries including the Philippines. 

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