By Ferdinand Patinio

Bamban, Tarlac Mayor Alice Guo (PNA file photo by Avito Dalan)

MANILA – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has formed a fact-finding committee to investigate Bamban, Tarlac Mayor Alice Guo’s candidacy in the May 2022 national elections.

“In view of public interest in the controversy surrounding Bamban, Tarlac Mayor Alice Guo, you are directed to create a Fact-Finding Committee to investigate her candidacy for the 2022 National and Local Elections,” Comelec chairperson George Erwin Garcia said in a July 6 memorandum to the Law Department, made public Monday.

Garcia said the committee shall determine whether there was a material misrepresentation in Guo’s certificate of candidacy (COC) that would warrant the filing of an election offense case.

At the same time, Garcia directed the committee to coordinate with the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), Office of the Solicitor General and Senate Committee on Women, Children, Family Relations and Gender Equality for more information on the case.

He said the panel will also conduct a technical analysis of documents containing fingerprints of registered voters, which bear the name Alice Guo, to determine her culpability, if any.

“It shall recommend to the Commission En Banc the filing of a case if evidence warrants,” Garcia added.

Earlier, the NBI reported that Guo’s fingerprints matched that of a certain Guo Hua Ping, a Chinese who entered the Philippines in 2003 when she was only 13 years old.

Garcia said the Bamban mayor may face an election offense case if she was found to have made false claims in her COC for the 2022 elections, where she declared Tarlac, Tarlac as her place of birth and that she has been living in the country for 35 years and two months at the time of filing. (PNA)