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Escudero commits to sign arrest order vs Guo if she skips next Senate probe

Senator Chiz Escudero has committed to sign the warrant of arrest against suspended Bamban Mayor Alice Guo

Senate President Francis "Chiz" Escudero has committed to sign the warrant of arrest against suspended Bamban Mayor Alice Guo if there will be a formal motion from the Senate committee on women, children, family relations, and gender equality.

Escudero made the remark amid statements from Guo's lawyers that the suspended mayor has been traumatized and is not keen on attending the continuation of the Senate investigation into the raided Bamban POGO hub.

"Kung hindi sila dadalo, nasa kamay ni Senator Risa [Hontiveros] kung siya ay magre-request ng warrant of arrest para sila ay pwersahang padaluhin sa pagdinig ng senado at pipirmahan ko ang warrant of arrest na 'yun pag ni-request ni senator Risa," Escudero said in an interview Tuesday.

(If they will not attend, the decision is now up to Senator Risa Hontiveros if she will request the issuance of a warrant of arrest so they could be compelled to attend the hearing in the Senate. I will sign that warrant of arrest if Senator Risa requests it.)

Hontiveros chairs the Senate committee that investigates Guo's supposed involvement in the illegal POGO hub that was raided in her own town.

Guo, her parents and siblings were already subpoenaed by the Senate committee. However, the subpoena was just issued to the suspended mayor through her legal counsel.


The embattled mayor has not been seen in her farm in Bamban, Tarlac, according to the Office of the Senate Sergeant-at-Arms which issued the subpoena to Guo.

Guo farm helper also said that he does not know her whereabouts.

Escudero explained that once a subpoena is issued, this is already under the compulsion of law, and Guo cannot decide whether she will attend the hearing or not.

"Kapagka nag-isyu ng subpoena ang Husgado man o Senado o Kongreso, obligado ang testigo na sundin at sundan ito," Escudero stressed.

(If there is a subpoena that was issued by the Judiciary, Senate or Congress, the witness is obliged to comply.)

The Senate chief likewise emphasized the need for Guo to present a medical certificate if she will cite health or medical conditions as reasons for skipping the investigation.

If there are no doctors that are willing to issue a medical certificate, as claimed by Guo's lawyer, Escudero said doctors from the Senate could check her and assess whether she is fit to attend the investigation or not.


In a separate statement, Hontiveros stressed that Guo and her lawyers are obliged to respect the laws of the Philippines and reiterated her call for the embattled mayor to appear before the Senate committee if she really wants to "clear her name" from allegations.

"Our jurisprudence is clear and consistent. The Supreme Court has recognized that the invocation of the right against self-incrimination can only be done when a question is being asked. Hindi ito dahilan para hindi siya dumalo sa hearing. Gasgas na ito na palusot ng mga umiiwas sa imbestigasyon," she said.

(This is not a reason for her not to attend the hearing.)

"Kung tunay na gusto niyang malinis ang pangalan niya, magpakita siya sa hearing, sumagot siya nang maayos, at tigilan niya na ang pagsisinungaling," she added.

(If she really wants to clear her name, she should appear during the hearing, answer the questions properly, and stop lying before the committee.)

Guo suspected to be part of a criminal syndicate operated by Chinese nationals after the several documents showed that she was personally involved in the processing of documents for POGO operations.

Guo's citizenship was also questioned due to her inconsistent testimonies about her background and the supposed dubious documents regarding her Filipino citizenship.

The National Bureau of Investigation has found that Guo and Chinese passport holder Guo Hua Ping have the same fingerprints. —VAL, GMA Integrated News