Ang See: Probe on Guo turning into ‘zarzuela’

Janvic Mateo - The Philippine Star
Ang See: Probe on Guo turning into �zarzuela�
A photo of Mayor Alice Guo of Bamban, Tarlac posted on Feb. 24, 2024 on Facebook which was taken during the 2024 League of Municipality of the Philippines LMP General Assembly.
Facebook / Mayor Alice Leal Guo

MANILA, Philippines — Warning against an emerging “anti-China narrative,” civic leader Teresita Ang See yesterday expressed concern that the ongoing Senate investigation on the Philippine offshore gaming operators (POGO) is turning into a “zarzuela,” centering on the lifestyle of a Tarlac mayor suspected of hiding her real identity as a Chinese.

“Many of my comments are echoed by many of my friends. Why was the investigation at the Senate sidetracked?” Ang See said in an interview with “Storycon” on One News.

“It started with an investigation on POGO, which we really, really welcome… But now, it has become a zarzuela. It’s very irritating to see our senators – with so many national problems – going below decency and digging out dirt, digging out about boyfriends, kasambahay and all these things,” she added.

Ang See was referring to the Senate hearings on the POGO operations in Bamban, Tarlac, which currently centers on the identity of the town’s mayor, Alice Guo.

Guo, who is being accused of having ties with POGO operations, has drawn criticisms for her vague and evasive answers during the hearings.

The latest hearing on May 22, which happened a few days after Guo gave a television interview about her life, again centered on her identity, including her family relations and an allegation about a supposed partner.

Ang See recognized that Guo’s answers have contributed to the shift in direction of the Senate investigation.

But she advised senators to do more research before holding such public forums.

“I’m concerned. Suddenly, the POGO disappeared from the investigation. Suddenly, it went into talking about her lifestyle,” said the civic leader.

She reiterated her previous warning against Sinophobia and an emerging anti-Chinese narrative, noting that the ongoing issue came on the heels of a Senate probe on the supposed influx of Chinese students in Cagayan.

“I think it’s a deliberate anti-China and anti-Chinese narrative that is being peddled on the unknowing public,” she said.

“I’m not saying that the investigation is wrong. But I hope they do their research first,” she added.

Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Pimentel III also decried what he believed was the sidetracking of the POGO issue during Senate hearings.

“Why is the hearing now about her (Guo)? The hearing is about POGO. Let’s go back to POGO and let’s all unite to get rid of it, ban POGO here in the Philippines, don’t make it complicated by saying that all gambling will be banned, it won’t happen,” Pimentel said in an interview.

He said appropriate cases, if warranted, should be filed before the proper agencies. — Cecille Suerte Felipe

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