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FIRING LINE: Who Guo might be

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By Robert B. Roque, Jr.

Embattled Bamban Mayor Alice Guo and her legal team have resorted to knocking on the doors of Malacanang. She’s counting on the President to throw her a line to save her declarations of innocence from drowning as evidence against her real identity and motivations pile up.

Just last Tuesday, Senator Sherwin Gatchalian’s revelation that Guo might actually be Guo Hua Ping, who entered the Philippines under dubious circumstances, casts a long shadow over her integrity. “Alice Guo might be Guo Hua Ping who entered the Philippines on January 12, 2003 when she was 13 years old. Her real birth date is on Aug 31, 1990,” Gatchalian was quoted as saying.

If her identity is fabricated, it underscores a pattern of deceit, not public service. Gatchalian’s evidence, sourced from the Board of Investments and the Bureau of Immigration, is damning and strengthens the case against her.

Instead of serving Bamban, Guo appears to be entangled in a web of illegal POGO operations and deceit as some senators have suspected all along.

Focus on solutions

Amid the uproar from transport groups, officials of the Department of Transportation and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board have yet to meet about the jeepney crackdown.

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority has already admitted that it cannot enforce the crackdown because even its enforcers don’t know what to check for.

While the LTFRB dithers on guidelines, drivers face financial ruin with fines and impoundments.

Ironically, stopping jeepneys to check compliance could worsen traffic and inconvenience commuters more than the supposed non-compliance itself.

Instead of these heavy-handed tactics, how about the government focus on real solutions, like improving infrastructure and providing financial support for modernization?

Kudos to Nate

In a Facebook post, my former student Nate C. Barretto bade his farewell to the media after 30 years.

I’d like to think I drew him into the professional media circle when I hired him in Tempo back in 1995. He was an undergrad then, but I had confidence in his ability and dedication to be a good journalist.

Nate has since worked for two giant TV networks, leading dailies The Manila Bulletin and The Philippine Star, co-founded The Philippine Business and News website, and settled in BusinessWorld newspaper last year.

I’ve always thought he’d stay on as a newsman, especially since he has been a strong advocate of training and upskilling members of the regional press. Firing Line says kudos to Nate and wishes him all the best in the next chapter of his life and career.

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SHORT BURSTS. For comments or reactions, email or tweet @Side_View via X app (formerly Twitter). Read current and past issues of this column at

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