Guo vadis

SINGKIT - Doreen G. Yu - The Philippine Star

Legend has it that Peter fled from Rome as the Christians were persecuted under emperor Nero. Along the Appian way, he encountered Christ in a vision, carrying the cross. He asked Jesus, “Domine, quo vadis?” Or “Lord, where are you going?”

If you were to ask Bamban, Tarlac Mayor Alice Guo that question, she’ll most probably tell you she ain’t goin’ nowhere – in whatever language she chooses to speak. With her Philippine passport, a thriving piggery business (said to generate about P250 million a year from thousands of heads of imported pigs), a bustling POGO hub (OK, OK, she has “divested”), a huge tract of land in the province, a helicopter (since sold, for how much kaya?) intended for use as an air taxi, a fleet of cars (exactly how many and what makes are questions for the Senate investigation to determine, or maybe it’s like the “magic garage” of the Lins of an earlier Senate investigation, where when you wake up in the morning there’s a fancy car or two parked and you don’t know where they came from), real fancy duds (Vuitton blouse, Bulgari jewelry set of necklace, bracelet and ring, a Cartier signature panther ring, Bulgari and Chanel bags… each costing more than we peasants can ever afford or even imagine and, as my friend pointed out, oo na, inggit lang ako!) and much more, you can bet she’s staying put in Bamban and yes, the mayora is seeking re-election next year, counting on the 16,000+ voters who cast their ballots in her favor in 2022 to do so again in May 2025, with maybe more joining them at the polls.

Not bad for a girl who’s come from the back of beyond; exactly where that is though is still a bit of a conundrum which, again, maybe the Senate investigation can figure out.

So, what are we to do? How, indeed, do you solve a problem like Alice Guo? For she has now turned into a bit of a problem – for the Comelec that did not flag her questionable credentials (it’s not their job to scrutinize documents if no one files a complaint, is the justification; so will they accept her COC when filing time comes in October?); for the DFA that issued her a passport; for the PSA or former NSO that had registered her birth only at 17 years old; for the DILG that can or cannot preventively or otherwise suspend her; for the townsfolk of Bamban who say she “came out of nowhere;” even for her supposedly very wealthy Chinese father (who gave her money for some of the above-mentioned assets) and her as of now sort-of-missing mother…

I guess, in a sense, she’s got problems too – like trying to remember her childhood, where the farm she grew up in is located, who her playmates were (even if she didn’t have classmates since she was home schooled – by who? – she should’ve had a playmate/friend or two, or was she so totally isolated?) and other such details – in order to, as one senator said, “convince us” you’re a Filipino and not a spy or a POGO coddler or some other shady character out of a movie or TV series (look up the 2013-2018 TV spy thriller series “The Americans” which won Golden Globe, Emmy and many other awards).

So, Alice Guo, quis es (who are you)?

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