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?
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.
Gov. Imee Marcos jokes about Senator Juan Ponce Enrile and Bongbong Marcos’ joblessness as the reason for their utmost support to her in the Congress conflict. However, it is far more than that. As the late President Ferdinand E. Marcos’ 100th birth anniversary is nearing, the re-merger actually confirms Enrile’s disclosure that he can never turn his back to the Marcoses.
[VIDEO]: Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos thanks, ex-Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile for helping her testify in a House probe into alleged misuse of local tobacco funds.
Gov. Marcos said that the next hearing for the Ilocos 6 is on August 9. Enrile voluntarily said that he will join her again. This is after she thanked him for the vital support that leads to the freedom of the detained Ilocos Norte officials at the Congress.
Enrile always sticks to his story that he remained loyal to the late President Marcos during the EDSA event. He can’t even call it a revolution but a mere mutiny. It just got out of hand when former President Fidel Ramos and the church people dragged their patrons to the streets. Liberal Party politicians call this a revision of history. However, Enrile is the living proof that he is determined to expose the truth to this date.
EDSA cannot Discredit ex-President Marcos
Contrary to the claims of Satur Ocampo and Albay Representative Edcel Lagman that Marcos burial at the LNMB last November 18 was a “gross distortion, a malevolent revision and a wanton derogation of Philippine history,” EDSA cannot discredit the strongman. Its mastermind is still alive to tell the real story repeatedly. Enrile is always pro-Marcos. EDSA saved the Marcoses who in return, saved the people as well.
Governor Marcos respects the opposition but “we also have the right to talk,” she stressed. “I am hoping that before his 100th birthday the Supreme Court will finally resolve the matter. Remember we will only come to bury Ceasar, not to praise him,” she added.
Gov. Imee Marcos said during a follow-up interview after the July 25 hearing at the Congress that her mother, former first lady Imelda Marcos was alarmed that she withdraws her alleged accusation that the LP bribes some congressmen to make sure of her detention. But if her retraction can set them all free, then she was happy to do just that.
[VIDEO]: THE NORTH REMEMBERS: Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos on Wednesday referenced the popular HBO series Game of Thrones to describe her desire to forge peace with her political rival, Ilocos Norte Representative and House Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas.
Gossip vs Intelligence Report
Gov. Marcos humorously talks about the gossips in the Congress. Referring to the alleged 100 M LP bribe report she received, she explains that when it comes from a woman, it’s considered as a mere gossip. However, if it comes from a man, that could be some kind of an intelligence report. Therefore, it is indicated here that it is not just a mere speculation but a warning. Thus the reason why she can’t divulge the source to protect her. She really has the wisdom to decide on the right choice.
No Case Filed against the Ilocos 6
Since the Ilocos is already released, it is understood that there are no cases filed against them. However, the case at the Supreme Court against the Congress on the writ of Amparo for threatening their liberty which is a grave of abuse is still pending.
Amend the Law
Marcos said that no one is questioning the power of the Congress but they have to follow in aid of the Constitution and the mandate of its own rules. She said that this is where she can contribute if she runs for a seat in the Senate for 2019.
The President is Aware
The President is aware of the Ilocos Norte’s struggle with the Congress. However, Gov. Marcos thinks that he has a lot on his plate with the conflict in Marawi and other problems of the country. She does not want to bother him anymore with an additional worry. Therefore, she manages to exhaust all legal means possible and so far, it is successful. Another hearing is coming up in August but since the Ilocos 6 is already free, this is just a matter of going through the legal proceedings now.
Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos made a great sacrifice in facing the Congress for the alleged misuse of tobacco funds despite the many advises not to show up during the July 25 hearing. She is apologetic to the House and even swallowed her pride in retracting her previous statements. All for the sake of the Ilocos’ 6 freedom. This would also allow her to continue fighting in the open.
Youtube video by; Elena Grace Flores
[VIDEO]: Gov. Marcos explains that they can only resort to direct contracting because there’s only one supplier based on the specified request.
Direct Contracting is Legal
Gov. Marcos maintained her stand that the direct contracting followed the legal process as evaluated by COA. There may be some processes that were not followed but the truth is firmly brought out no matter how the Congress Representatives grilled her that there’s definitely no corruption in the said transaction.
Lifting of the Contempt Order
Majority leader Rudy Fariñas moved for the lifting of the contempt order and for the issuance of the release order of the six officials. He clarified his move by saying that the officials admitted during the hearing that it was their signatures on pertinent disbursement vouchers and other documents.
Never Mind the Humiliation, Freedom Matters
The House committee chairperson Surigao Del Sur Rep. Johnny Pimentel approved Fariñas’ motion. The audience applauded. Ilocos Norther Gov. Imee Marcos said that she is happy that her employees can finally go home to their families after 55 days in detention.
Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos showed up at the July 25 hearing at the Congress into the alleged misuse of tobacco funds. Marcos said that she honors the subpoena issued against her by the House Committee on Good Government and Public Accountability. She also said that she takes this an opportunity to defend her side of the story.
Youtube video by; Elena Grace Flores
[VIDEO]: Gov. Imee Marcos shocked the Congress for showing up during the probe of the alleged misuse of tobacco excise funds.
At the hearing, Marcos cleared her name by saying that the House allegations against Ilocos Norte provincial government are not true. The bidding was done through the website for the first lot but on the second order, it was a direct purchase as specified by the needs of the farmers.
She was Grilled
Few Congressmen take turns in grilling Marcos. She retained her innocence on the allegedly wrong process of using the tobacco funds not specified by the law. She insisted, however, that she acted based on the urgent need of her constituents. It is obvious that the lawmakers are leading her to admit that she allowed corruption to happen by signing on the cash advance that she ultimately denied.
The Governor Apologizes
The governor made it a point to apologize of some disclosure that she cannot provide evidence right on the spot. One was the new affidavit of Pedro Gorospe who allegedly stole the documents as contemplated by his sister-in-law Cynthia Gorospe, Farinas’ aid. However, Farinas clarified from his old affidavit that he returned the original documents. It was only a few months ago that he learned there were lost as Farinas filed the inquiry.
Some of the detained Ilocos Norte officials also testified to back up the justification of Marcos. This leads the Congress to say that if they were that open during the last four sessions, they could have avoided the detention. On this note, Marcos loyalists are assured that the presence of former First Lady Imelda Marcos and Senator Juan Ponce Enrile will not allow the Congress to easily detain the governor if they do not like her answers. Besides, a group of farmers is waiting outside of the House.
Party-list Rep. Enrico Pineda said that Gov. Imee Marcos alone can explain to the Congress the mysterious disappearance of all documents pertaining to the questionable diversion of funds. That was for the welfare of tobacco farmers but the governor insists that it was the beneficiaries themselves who requested the purchase of the vehicles. Marcos discloses that it was the brother of Rep. Rudy Farinas’ aid who stole the originals from COA.
Youtube video by; News5Everywhere
[VIDEO]: Umalma si Rep. Johnny Pimentel sa tirada ni Bongbong Marcos na pinu-pulitika ng kamara ang kanyang ate sa isyu ng excise tax.
Seeking Refuge at Supreme Court Fails
Jose Vicente Opinion, the dean of the Eastern Samar State University College of Law, warned that a constitutional crisis would result from the Congress’s defiance of the decision of the appellate court’s Special Fourth Division. It grants the writ of habeas corpus of the six Ilocos Norte officials and employees. In fact, Marcos already Seeks the Ilocos 6′ release by virtue of the writ of Amparo at the Supreme Court but this was halted. Three justices inhibit from the case.
Stop the Congress Bullying
Law experts also call on the Congress to stop bullying the Ilocos 6 and Marcos. The CA should not be bullied as well, they said. The ‘Ilocos Six’ case might be indefinite not that the Supreme Court prioritizes internal conflicts over them due to disunity within the branch.
Digital Copies can Easily be Faked
Marcos’s signatures were on most of the documents pertaining to the cash advances made to procure five second-hand buses, 70 mini trucks, and 40 multi cabs. This from the purchase requests to the obligation requests for the funds, and even the disbursement vouchers. However, digital copies can easily be faked. It is also an offense to swear on a fake document. So, this left the Ilocos 6 no choice but to bear detention.
Documents Were Stolen
Marcos explains that an employee of Ilocos Norte Rep. Rodolfo Fariñas allegedly took the original copies of documents from the Commission on Audit (COA) office in Laoag City.
Cynthia Gorospe is an employee and coordinator in Fariñas office. She compelled her brother in law, Pedro Gorospe, who was a janitor at the COA office at that time. Bongbong Marcos is right that what they’ve done to the Ilocos 6 is cruel just for the sake of politics.
Associate Justice Teresita Leonardo-De Castro questioned Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno’s “long delay in the filling up” of key SC positions, the appointment to the Philippine Mediation Center Office, and granting travel allowances to members of her staff for foreign travels minus the approval of the court en banc. Earlier Sereno, Associate Justice Diosdado Peralta, and Associate Justice Andres Reyes Jr have inhibited from the “Ilocos 6” case. This prompts Governor Imee Marcos to divulge everything in a press conference.
Youtube video by; ABS-CBN News
[VIDEO]: Congressmen should be the foremost advocates of the rule of law by respecting the authority of the Court of Appeals (CA) to provide legal relief to the so-called “Ilocos Six” officials who were cited in the contempt by the lawmakers, the former head of the country’s biggest voluntary association of lawyers said Tuesday.
Supreme Court Issues
De Castro points out that under Administrative Order No. 33-2008, the full court appoints the PMCO chief, upon the recommendation of Philja. However, Sereno appoints Atty. Brenda Jay A. Mendoza to the post without Philja’s recommendation. On another matter, official foreign travels by court officials and personnel need the court en banc’s approval for travel allowances. However, the Chief Justice granted OCJ staff’s foreign travel allowances without court approval.
Bongbong Marcos thinks that the dealings of the Congress with the “Ilocos 6” are cruel. It’s also beyond words how they threaten to detain the governor. Perhaps, the best thing to do now is to let the House arrest Marcos from her territory. It is not advisable at all to attend to any hearing anymore when you are not given the benefit of the doubt.
Unfinished Business with Ilocos 6
Sereno and Reyes previously issued a joint statement to urge the House committee on good government and public accountability to recall the show cause order it issued against the 3 CA justices from the Special 4th Division. It issued a ruling ordering the House panel to provisionally release the 6 Ilocos Norte officials. However, since 3 justices including Sereno already inhibits the case, the process stops.
Marcos’ Next Step
While the Marcoses exhaust other legal means, Gov. Marcos divulged that the original documents were turned over to COA but it lost them. The Ilocos Norte government said the “Ilocos 6” had “requested to see the original documents before testifying, lest they commit perjury by giving sworn statements based on possible falsified photocopied documents. Marcos cited an affidavit by COA janitor, Pedro Gorospe Jr., an employee of the provincial treasury who was recently assigned to the provincial jail. He confessed that he was compelled to steal the documents by Cynthia Gorospe. She is an employee and coordinator of Congressman Fariñas but she denied the acusation.
COA janitor, Pedro Gorospe Jr., an employee of the provincial treasury who was recently assigned to the provincial jail confesses that he stole the original documents of the Ilocos 6 case as compelled by his sister-in-law. Gorospe is the brother of Cynthia Gorospe’s husband, a trusted employee, and coordinator of Congress bully Rep. Rudy Fariñas. He discloses this in a signed affidavit.
Youtube video by; Elena Grace Flores
[VIDEO]: Bongbong Marcos explains the work relationship of the Ilocos Norte government officials with their Governor.
Where are the Originals?
It was a painful scene in the hearing when Farinas’ grilled each of the 6 Ilocos Norte officials as to where the original documents of the cash advance from the tobacco excise funds used to buy the farmers’ vehicles were. Since Farinas has their copies, it is logical to think that he should know where the originals were.
The original documents were missing during the House inquiry into Ilocos Norte’s tobacco fund use last May 29. Lawmakers ordered the House arrest and detention of the treasurer and five other employees of the Ilocos Norte government for asking where the originals were because they cannot answer their questions accurately without those as a reference because the transaction happened many years ago.
Cynthia Gorospe, however, is in denial. She said that she did not steal the documents. That she only requested a photocopy of the vouchers in 2013 because of a personal grudge against a coworker, Genedine Jambaro. It turns out that she envies the latter’s lifestyle. The public can easily judge on this.
The Congress is now perceived as a House of Horror just because of some abusive congressmen. They detained the Ilocos 6 indefinitely and threatened Gov. Imee Marcos with Contempt Citation with a matching detention room. Bongbong Marcos said that their actions are indeed cruel. Now that this scenario emerged, it is far crueler than people might think.
Gov. Imee Marcos in an exclusive interview that a P100-million fund from the “yellow” forces is at stake for lawmakers. She cites a reliable source who said that once she fails to show up during the July 25 hearing in the Congress, the money will be distributed. The Congress investigates the alleged use of P66.45 million in excise taxes to buy motor vehicles for the farmers under her watch.
Youtube video by; GMA News
[VIDEO]: Pagkulong sa “Ilocos 6” sa Kamara, tinawag na hostage crisis ni Gov. Imee Marcos
Warning from Lawmakers in Congress
Some lawmakers warn that the governor contempt citation is sure if she will not show up on July 25. Surigao del Sur Rep. Johnny Pimentel even showed members of the media the detention cell prepared for her
No Freedom for Ilocos 6
The House of Representatives insists on the continued detention of Ilocos 6 for more than two months now. They are the six employees of the provincial government who refuse to discuss the purchase of vehicles according to the wishes of the interrogators. Marcos asks the Supreme Court to intervene in the case by assuming jurisdiction over a petition for habeas corpus pending at the Court of Appeals. However, the justice in charge inhibits from the case and no one wants to replace him so far.
The employees were cited in contempt for refusing to answer questions from the Pimentel panel, saying they cannot do so since the queries were based on photocopies of documents used in the procurement of the vehicles. The probe was initiated by Ilocos Norte Rep. Rodolfo Fariñas, a former ally of the Marcoses. It is rumored that the original documents were stolen by a former janitor loyal to Fariñas from the Capitol.
Liberal Party Strategy
Marcos noted that Fariñas used to be a member of the Liberal Party or LP know as the yellow faction. He just joined the ruling PDP-Laban party when Du30 becomes President. The governor said she sees a wider “conspiracy” not only against her over the allegedly anomalous vehicle purchase but the entire Marcos family. This is more likely because Bongbong Marcos seems to be favored in his electoral protest against VP Leni Robredo. The LP members are in full gear to discredit any Marcos for fear that another Ferdinand Marcos can become the next President of the Philippines as per Du30’s wishes.