DOJ asked to probe Chinese ‘sleeper agents’ in Iloilo City

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By Rjay Zuriaga castor

Iloilo City’s lone district Rep. Julienne “Jamjam” Baronda has urged the Department of Justice (DOJ) to investigate the reported proliferation of Chinese nationals residing in upscale subdivisions in the city.

In a letter sent to DOJ Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla on July 2, Baronda raised concerns about the sudden influx of Chinese nationals in areas such as Puerto Real de Iloilo in Lapaz, Monterosa Subdivision in Mandurriao, and Ledesco Subdivision in Lapaz.

“Though these foreigners have not caused trouble in the community and have been nice to their neighbors, what bothers the Ilonggo residents is that there are households where no one or only one of five speaks English,” she said.

The lawmaker added that residents reported the Chinese nationals have bought houses for P30 million to P50 million and have luxury SUVs at their disposal.

Noting that the reports are mere suspicions, Baronda appealed to the DOJ to validate these claims through the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the Bureau of Immigration (BI) to determine whether these individuals are engaged in illegal activities.

“The Filipino people are worried about the so-called Chinese ‘sleeper agents’ given the fact that your agency has verified that Mayor Alice Guo and a Chinese national have the same fingerprints,” she added.

Baronda also recalled the apprehension of 17 Chinese nationals in the Jaro district due to cybersex and human trafficking activities in November last year.

“We want to ensure that our people are safe and that our national security is protected,” she stressed.

The City Council recently approved a resolution calling for an investigation into alleged illegal activities among foreign nationals, including gambling, human trafficking, and cyber scams.

Councilor Rommel Duron, chairperson of the Committee on Games, Amusement, and Professional Sports, highlighted concerns about the increasing number of unmonitored immigrants and the potential establishment of Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGO) in the city.

The investigation has been referred to the Committee of the Whole, with a committee hearing scheduled for Monday, July 8.

Expected attendees at the committee hearing include representatives from the Bureau of Immigration, the Department of Labor and Employment, the Department of Trade and Industry, the Iloilo City Police Office, and local homeowners associations.

Concerns about Chinese sleeper cells surfaced amid the escalating dispute between the Philippines and China over the West Philippine Sea.

Also, Alice Guo, the embattled mayor of Bamban, Tarlac, has been the subject of intense scrutiny due to allegations linking her to illegal Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs).

Guo, who won the 2022 election, has faced accusations of being a Chinese national masquerading as a Filipino.

The National Bureau of Investigation confirmed that her fingerprints matched those of Guo Hua Ping, a Chinese national.

Guo’s controversial background, including discrepancies in her birth and education records, and her alleged involvement in POGO operations, has prompted investigations and calls for her suspension.


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