‘Simpleng mamamayan’? Bamban Mayor Alice Guo owns over 12 vehicles

(1st UPDATE) LTO records show that Bamban Mayor Alice Guo has at least 12 vehicles registered under her name, including a Toyota Land Cruiser and a Jeep Gladiator Sport

Although Bamban, Tarlac Mayor Alice Guo has denied owning the McLaren luxury car that she entered in a car show, records reveal that the embattled mayor still has at least a dozen motor vehicles registered to her name.

Land Transportation Office (LTO) documents obtained by Rappler pertaining to all motor vehicles under the name of Alice Leal Guo listed motor vehicle verification records for 13 vehicles. The list excluded the McLaren 620R that Guo had entered in a car show in Concepcion, Tarlac on December 11, 2023. The limited edition luxury British car reportedly cost as much as P16.7 million when it came out in 2019.

Collectively, the 13 vehicles registered with the LTO could cost more than P19 million, based on estimates by a source familiar with the car trading industry.

Here is the LTO’s list of motor vehicle records linked to Alice Guo, as of May 17, 2024. Rappler also included in the table estimates of the vehicles’ values, based on information from an industry source.

The list was mostly made up of pick-up trucks and sports utility vehicles. Some were on the pricier end, such as a Toyota Land Cruiser and a Jeep Gladiator Sport – vehicles that could well be worth more than P4 million each.

The vehicles listed here are registered under Guo’s name – not under any of her multiple businesses. Six of the vehicles, including her Toyota Land Cruiser and Jeep Gladiator Sport, had registered addresses in Barangay Virgen delos Remedios, Bamban, Tarlac. Meanwhile, another six vehicles had registered addresses in Marilao, Bulacan, which Guo identified in a Senate hearing as one of her residences.

Two vehicles were also not brand new. The Hyundai Tucson Theta II was acquired by Guo in September 18, 2012, while she acquired the Ford Ranger Double H in 2013. The LTO did not identify who she acquired the vehicles from.

The LTO’s list also includes one car, a Toyota Camry, registered under a certain “Jian Guo.” This car, estimated to cost a little less than P2 million, was also the only one with an address not linked to either of Mayor Guo’s known residences.

Guo had previously identified her father as a Chinese named “Jian Zhong Guo” who had adopted the Filipino name Angelito. Rappler has yet to independently verify whether the “Jian Guo” in the LTO’s records pertains to Mayor Guo’s father.

What about the McLaren?

The LTO documents are revealing both in what they say and don’t say, particularly the non-listing of the multi-million-peso McLaren.

In a recent interview with ABS-CBN News, the Bamban mayor denied ever having owned the luxury car. She instead claimed that she borrowed it from “a friend” to enter into the car contest, although she did not identify who that person was.

Nag-entry lang po kami ma’am. Hindi ko po siya sasakyan. Hiniram po namin sa kaibigan ko, i-entry para lang sa show, para maging mas masaya lang po ang mga ibang kababayan po namin,” Guo said during the interview. “I don’t own a McLaren.”

(It was just for entry, ma’am. It’s not my car. We borrowed it from my friend just to enter it into the show, just to make our townspeople happier.)

Unregistered vehicles

Based on the information obtained by Rappler, Guo also had multiple vehicles with expired registrations. Normally, the LTO requires all motor vehicles to be registered first before use. An initial registration for a brand-new vehicle lasts for three years, after which motorists have to renew their registration every year.

That means, for example, that even if Guo’s Ford Ranger XLT and Toyota Land Cruiser were initially registered in 2020, their registrations would still be considered expired by now. By the same reasoning, her Isuzu truck and Hyundai Tucson Theta II also do not have updated registrations.

Motorists with unregistered vehicles face stiff penalties of P10,000, along with possible impoundment of vehicle – that is, if they are caught. An unregistered vehicle also poses a safety risk since it means that the vehicle did not undergo and pass mandatory roadworthiness tests.

Besides this fleet of cars, Guo is also an incorporator and a major shareholder of at least 11 companies. Among these businesses is a car dealership, Westcars Incorporated, which was registered on March 16, 2016.

Guo is being investigated by the Senate for her alleged ties to Philippine offshore gaming operations (POGO) and “criminals.” Senator Risa Hontiveros has also questioned whether she might be an “asset” planted by China. In a Senate hearing on Wednesday, May 22, Hontiveros also presented a list of 16 vehicles allegedly tied to Guo. Some of the vehicles on the list were included in the one from LTO obtained by Rappler, while others were not. There were also differences in the last registration date among some of the vehicles present in both Hontiveros’ and LTO’s list.

The mayor has repeatedly downplayed and denied being involved with POGOs, saying that she grew up in a secluded hog-raising farm.

“‘Di po ako ganun ka-powerful. Ako po ay isang simpleng mamamayan. Ako po ay isang second class municipality lang po,” Guo said in the exclusive interview.

(I’m not that powerful. I’m just a simple citizen. I’m just from a second class municipality.) – Rappler.com

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