Two powerful women loyal to the Du30 administration contributed to the success of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s bid for speakership at the Congress. Gov. Imee Marcos and Presidential daughter and Mayor Sara Du30 graced Arroyo’s lunch meeting in a Quezon City hotel. She said that it was her gesture of appreciation to politicians who supported her recent bid. Arroyo and Du30 were in red during the even while Marcos was stunning than ever.
[VIDEO]: Lawmakers say former president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos and presidential daughter Sara Duterte-Carpio joined forces to oust Davao Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez as House speaker.
Power 3 During Thank You Lunch
Speaker Arroyo had a “thank you lunch” with Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte Carpio, Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos, and some 150 lawmakers last Monday, July 30. Mayor Du30 previously had a grudge with the ousted ex-Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez. Marcos also had a conflict with another unseated former Liberal Party member Rep. Rodolfo Fariñas.
The True Alliance against the Great Pretenders
Ilocos Norte 1st District Representative Rodolfo Fariñas leads the probe into the alleged misuse of tobacco funds under Governor Imee Marcos. The lady governor previously kept her cool against the former Majority Leader. Legislators allied with Arroyo said Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos. She is allegedly campaigning to stop her rival Fariñas from getting a leadership position in the lower chamber.
The Union of the Unwanted Leaders
Fariñas has joined a minority bloc in the House of Representatives to be with Rep. Alvarez. Fariñas admitted that Rep. Prospero Pichay Jr. assured him that he could retain his post as majority floor leader even if Alvarez would be ousted but it was not the case. The Ilocos Norte lawmaker, however, chose to join his PDP-Laban party mate in the minority bloc instead. He declares his loyalty to Alvarez.
Party Membership Convenience
Another claimant to the minority block is Rep. Romero Quimbo. He criticizes politicians who just join a political party because it’s the flavor of the month so to speak. They actually do not carry the principles of such a group. Therefore it would be easier for them to go back to their roots or form a new alliance such as the minority block.
Women on Top in the Du30 Regime
The humanitarian crusaders seem to be quiet nowadays. They were known for their discrediting President Du30. They accuse him of being a rapist, anti-women, and a dictator. However, the Arroyo, Marcos, and Du30’s emergence prove that the older Du30 ‘s votes remain intact.
Honorable Fredenil “Fred” Castro, Majority Leader (Interim) District Representative Capiz, 2nd District in the Congress said that the election if a new Majority leader in a quorum automatically made the position of Rep. Rodolfo Fariñas vacant. The manifestation becomes evident after he questioned Resolution 2025 that validates CGMA’s election as House Speaker. Arroyo actually has no problem with Fariñas being retained as the Majority Floor Leader but another influential group blocks his reappointment led allegedly by Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos.
[VIDEO]: Rep. Fariñas, kinuwestiyon ang pagtalaga kay Arroyo bilang House Speaker
PDP Laban Membership is Based on Convenience
Castro is not at all bothered by the chaos in the Congress. He said that the House of Representatives remains interesting like before. No one can stop anyone from questioning anything. However, the diminishing PDP-Laban members in power can send members of their group who just joined for convenience to go back to their old political parties. These are the politicians who oppose the government’s directions despite their alliance with the President’s party.
Erasing from the Political Landscape
Castro hints that the PDP-Laban may be erased from the political landscape when after a massive exodus. However, the ones who are truly-inclined with the party’s objectives will remain. They can also start recruiting for new allies to help out in their specific quests.
The Marcos-Fariñas Conflict
Gov. Marcos and Fariñas have a bitter-sweet history of both political alliances and feuds. The latest was in 2017. It was when the former conducted a House a probe into the alleged misuse of P66.45 million worth of provincial tobacco funds to purchase vehicles earlier approved by the Ilocos Norte Governor.
COA Inquiry on the Congress Issue by Fariñas
The COA said that the local government did not conduct the physical count of inventories held for consumption. These include office, food, medical, and agricultural supplies. The inventories that total to over ₱125 million were not checked for completeness and condition. Thus resulting in the possible loss of government funds due to overstocking and deterioration.
In response, the Ilocos Norte government said it will establish an Inventory Committee to conduct a physical count every six months. It added there was no overstocking of inventories. The supplies were not obsolete. The officer-in-charge of the Government Services Offices confirms that he is now waiting for the issuance of the official receipt and certificate of registration for the vehicles questioned by Farinas. The vehicles will then be insured to the Government Service Insurance System. The local government also clarifies that the fuel was purchased from Total in a special and exclusive offer that reduced costs. Any discrepancy found is certainly not a corruption issue but just a mere logistical process realignment for a sustainable spending. It has now become obvious that it is not advisable to be negative about the Marcoses under the Du30 regime. The lady governor surely found favor in the President’s eyes.
Bongbong Marcos thinks that the investigation at the Congress is merely motivated by politics. “It started off that way. I think it’s gone beyond that.” He and Ilocos Norte 2nd District Representative Imelda Marcos were also at the hearing. Governor Imee Marcos was with her legal counsel, former Senator Juan Ponce Enrile.
Video by; Rappler
[VIDEO]: The former senator and Ilocos Norte governor attend the hearing to support his sister, the incumbent governor of the province.
The Congress is Not the Right Venue
Former Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. questions why the issue “ended up in the House” in the first place. “I am not sure why it ended up here in the House of Representatives. It’s a political conflict in Ilocos Norte that turned into a personal one,” said Marcos. He is also a former governor of the province. His sister, governor Imee Marcos is the subject of a probe into the alleged misuse of the funds to purchase motor vehicles.
Ilocos 6’s Opinions
Marcos is not alone in his opinion. “I think you can ask the Ilocos 6 what they think of that,” explained Marcos Jr., referring to provincial employees who had been detained by the House of Representatives in late May 2017 who just gave the best answers they possibly knew during the hearing.
Going Around in Circles
The hearing was initiated by Majority Speaker Rodolfo Fariñas, who represents the first district of the province. It is evident in the Congress hearing video that he is too emotional and personal to conduct such investigation. He can’t be fair when his reputation is also in the line. At one point, Gov. Marcos and he debated on using their names in local projects. He only escapes confrontation as he has the power to turn his wrath into the other members of the Ilocos 6.
Farinas approached and spoke briefly with Governor Marcos, Representative Marcos, and Enrile. Fariñas had his back on Marcos Jr., who stands a few seats away from his mother. The majority leader acted surprised as he bumped into the former Senator. Is Farinas’ grudge rooted from the brother and not the sister?
In 2019 Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos cannot run anymore for another term as governor. Rep. Rudy Fariñas’ stint in the Congress also ends in the same year. They are both grooming their children to follow in their footsteps. This is one of the theories behind the Ilocos 6 drama. It’s all for the show.
Youtube video by; GMA News
[VIDEO]: Imee Marcos, humarap sa pagdinig kaugnay ng umano’y maanomalyang paggamit ng tobacco excise tax fund
The “power of Congress” to summon witnesses were highlighted. If Gov. Marcos did not attend the hearing, the drama can take a different twist. Had she not retracted her allegedly libelous statement about a P100-million bribe from the yellow faction to incriminate her, the committee would have been “forced” to detain the seven of them until 2019, just right in time “when the next Congress is elected.”
Congress Chow Characters
Personalities have nothing to do with the issue. It dismisses the notion that the practice of politics is manifested for the people, by the people, for their entertainment, education or miseducation. This is much like show biz. The difference is that in the real world, there are only stars and the rest are extras. In this case, Gov. Imee Marcos with her grace and wit emerged as the star. Fariñas’ was the villain.
The Spice of the Story
Atty. Juan Ponce Enrile as Imee’s counsel serves as the added spice of the story. Enrile was accused of betraying the late Ferdinand Marcos which he denied. The Court of Appeals ruled to release the detainees. The speaker of the House vowed to abolish that court. The CA is not the venue for this case, the congressmen complained, “they should go to the Supreme Court.” Thus the reason of the pending Writ of Amparo case to protest the violation of the House against the Ilocos 6’s rights to liberty.
Aftermath of the Drama
Atty. Enrile, who has never lost a case said as the drama continues to unfold away from the Congress that the case can only be taken up by the court aside from the pending plea at the SC. Therefore, the drama seems to end there.
The initially perceived as negative publicity for Gov. Imee Marcos has turned into calls for her to run as senator. That is a positive aftermath for the former President Ferdinand Marcos’ eldest daughter who is now constitutionally barred from seeking reelection in 2019. This leaves her open to pursue other positions.
[VIDEO]: After over 50 days in detention, the six Ilocos Norte provincial government officials on Tuesday were ordered released by the House of Representatives.
Aftermath: 2019 Plans
Ilocos Norte Gov. Marcos admits that the House of Representatives inquiry into her alleged misuse of P66.5 million in tobacco funds is all about politics. She surprisingly showed up at the House Committee’s hearing in honor of the subpoena issued against her. “I think it’s all about the 2019 plans,” Marcos said. This leads her to think that she can help in creating and reviewing laws.
Unity among Ilocanos
Senator Enrile intends to unite the Ilocanos. The governor also hopes to be in good terms again with Rep. Rudy Farinas. “I’m always hopeful that a peaceful negotiation can be made. The election is still far away if this is ‘Game of Thrones, the north remembers.’ ‘I hope that it’s not ‘Winter is coming,’ or else it would be scary,” Marcos said.
Will Help to Create Laws
Despite her strong feeling that the conflict arises due to political reasons, she still wishes that things can be resolved without making other people suffer. She is confident that she can help in making vital laws for the good of the country. Can this be an indicator that she will run for senator in 2019?
Not Using Presidential Connection
Marcos does not want to bother the President on the matter. “The president is aware of the issue. Obviously, he reads the newspapers. He is busy with the courts. I do not want to bother him anymore,” Marcos said.