Guo claims only P134K spent for 2022 campaign

guo claims only p134k spent for 2022 campaign

Guo claims only P134K spent for 2022 campaign

MANILA, Philippines — What can you buy with P134,000?

For Alice Guo, it was enough to win the mayoralty of Bamban, the second-class Tarlac municipality she claims as her hometown, based on her statement of contributions and expenses (Soce) submitted to the Commission on Elections.

Guo reported a total expenditure of P134,693.80 for her successful 2022 run to lead the town where she used to own a 7.9-hectare property that hosted a Philippine offshore gaming operator (Pogo) suspected of involvement in spying activities and hacking of government websites.

READ: Comelec: Bamban mayor may face perjury charge

The then 35-year-old businesswoman, running as an independent, bested six other candidates, winning over her closest rival by 468 votes after getting the support of 16,503 voters.

In her Soce, a copy of which was shared with the media by Sen. Risa Hontiveros’ office, the mayor had no election contributions to declare, indicating her campaign had been bankrolled by “personal funds/resources.”

READ: Hontiveros won’t let go of Bamban mayor over ties to Pogo

Help from ‘friends’

But during the May 7 hearing presided over by Hontiveros, Guo told a different story, saying her “friends” and the “former administration” — apparently referring to her predecessor, former Mayor Leonardo Anunciacion, now her vice mayor — had financed her first foray into politics.

“They are my friends in the hog-raising [industry],” Guo said.

She claimed she had sold half of her ownership of Baofu Land Development Inc., which leased its property in Anupul village, to Pogos, before she filed her certificate of candidacy.

According to her Soce, the bulk of Guo’s poll expenses went to tarpaulin banners that cost P39,646. Another P20,000 went to bottled water and the same amount to food.

The mayor said she paid her election lawyer, one Adenn Sigua, P10,000.

Notably, Guo did not declare any spending for T-shirts, bags, leaflets, baller bands and caps.

Noting Guo’s baffling responses about her personal and professional background, Hontiveros had raised the possibility that she was a “Chinese asset” who may have infiltrated the government.

“Is Guo… an asset that China sent to enter our government for them to have an influence in Philippine politics?” she said.

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