By: Elena Grace Flores
The recent content of BBM’s Vlog depicts a vacant seat in the Ilocos Norte government reserved for Sandro Marcos. It so happens that its board member who intends to run for vice governor alongside Matthew Marcos Manotoc as governor died in Laoag City last February 15, 2019 at 64 years old. Manotoc replaces his grandmother, Congresswoman Imelda Marcos who filed the gobernaturial Certificate of Candidacy. It turns out that the Vice Governor post is also a case of substitution in the person of the ever popular Sandro Marcos.
[VIDEO]: Happy Birthday from Ilocos, Sandro! The North remembers you.
Ilocos Norte 2nd District Senior Board Member Matthew Marcos Manotoc who filed for the Vice Governor COC will run for Governor instead. This is after the former First Lady withdraws from the race as planned. Manotoc, the son of Ilocos Norte Governor and Senatorial aspirant Imee Marcos now runs in tandem with Sandro Marcos as indicated in the teaser. The late Nonong Marcos’ generational gap from the gubernatorial hopeful is quite a question right from the start. Therefore leading to speculations that he was just substituting for someone else.
Just Like his Father
In 1980, the 23-year-old Bongbong Marcos became Vice Governor of Ilocos Norte. He ran unopposed under the Kilusang Bagong Lipunan party of his father. His father, the late President Ferdinand Marcos was still the ruler of the Philippines until his fall in 1986. Until this time, the Marcoses are all hot bets for top government positions. Aside from that, Sandro Marcos at 24, the eldest son of the former Senator with wife Louise Araneta remains a social media sweetheart despite living in London for the time being.
Sandro Marcos has earned his master’s degree in Development Studies from the London School of Economics and Political Science. It is evident that every election time, the opposition always include in their campaign sorties Bongbong Marcos and sister Imee Marcos’ alleged lying on their educational attainment due to lack of a diploma. Never the less, they do not have to defend themselves. Real people who witnessed their achievements in prestigious schools are speaking up to their defense. They were indeed victims of power manipulation by the Dilawans.
No Chance for the Farinas Clan in Ilocos Norte
Ilocos Norte 1st District Rep. Rodolfo Fariñas said Friday he would run for governor in his home province. Fariñas said he would serve as substitute candidate for Jesus Arimboyutan and would run under the PDP-Laban political party. The 67-year-old lawmaker will battle it out against Ilocos Norte board member Matthew Marcos Manotoc, grandson of Ilocos Norte 2nd District Rep. Imelda Marcos.
Playing Along with Politics
Given that their political enemies would do everything to stop any Marcos from reaching the top position of the land, the younger Marcos generation is fully-equipped with an experienced politician like their grandmother. The guidance of both Bongbong and Imee Marcos is also vital. Unlike the yellow faction, it is not their nature to discredit other candidates for election. They can play along with politics because it is their life. Many Filipinos are banking on them to lead the nation to prosperity.
Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos narrates how the windmill power source came about in her province. During the time of her brother, Bongbong Marcos, the Dutch installed the initial structures after their research for a decade. They have combined electricity generated from solar devices from China with the windmill to fully supply the whole area. She explains that the key to lower energy cost is to minimize the use of gasoline. This catches the attention of the legitimate Deuterium explorers from the EsMaulana-PNOC joint-venture. Gov. Marcos is definitely the key to fast-tracking its permit while Bongbong Marcos’ VP election protest drags along. She is doing something to neutralize the high cost of gasoline to make the commodities affordable for her constituents.
Former Senator Bongbong Marcos recently calls on the Supreme Court for a rapid resolution of his protest against VP Leni Robredo. It has been 2 years and the process is still ongoing. The younger Marcos is the author of the Senate bill 408 in 2010 and calls for the renewal of alternative energy in 2013 by exploration, promotion, and development of deuterium hydrogen fuel sources abundant in the Philippine Sea particularly in Surigao and Cotabato basins.
Like any other economic developments, the deuterium case is also highly political. It goes through strict compliance with the Department of Energy even with the endorsement of President Rodrigo Du30 through his Special Assistant, Bong Go. He is also running for Senator. Another re-election candidate, Senator Nancy Binay is also supportive of the alternative energy source as the vice-chairperson of the Energy Committee and a member of the Senate Electoral Tribunal. She works hand in hand with the Marcoses on various issues. In fact, she is the one who passes a resolution to investigate the 2016 election anomalies.
Back to Ilocos Norte, it is not only about windmills, churches, lighthouses and white beaches. The popular Blue Lagoon in Pagudpud is actually a spot not just for the usual surfers but also for kite surfers. The sea might not be blue during the rainy season, but some great waves are surely abundant. Gov. Marcos is proud that her bailiwick is now a surfing destination.
The lady governor understands the nature of her local people. This is evident when she said that the heat in her hometown is very much felt because of their outdoor lifestyle. Farming is a major means of living. The nationwide garlic supply comes from them. She made sure that the agricultural infrastructure like the irrigation system is sufficient. Community facilities are also designed to strengthen families regardless of origin. Highland, mid-land, and city dwellers benefit from the designated public service amenities.
Empowering the youth through the Kabataang Barangay where Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos started in politics has become very successful. It gives access to free education and skills training that equip young Filipinos in doing good in the country’s workforce. Some even become global players in the business. She acknowledges that social media is a big help for them to air their side when the commercial press people are more interested in a female politician’s bad hair day. Public service is Gov. Marcos’ life and as she plans to run as Senator, she stresses her commitment to back the President’s efforts to bring changes in society for the better good of the Filipinos.
Youtube video by; VIP by Lin
[VIDEO]: Gov. Imee Marcos talks about the 80s, women, education, policy- making, the future.
The Katipunan ng Kabataan (KK) which means Youth Federation in English, is the mainstream federation of Filipino youths duly sponsored by the government of the Republic of the Philippines since the late President Ferdinand Marcos’ regime. It has chapters in all the 41,996 barangays of the country. Gov. Marcos was then the National Chairman of the Kabataang Barangay when she was 21 years old. Now, she is proud to say that many of its members are not successful in their chosen field or career. May it be in public service, corporate, oe business undertakings.
Media is More Interested in Bad Hair Day
It is tough for a female politician when she has to study policies but then the media is more interested in their having a bad hair day. She has been a subject of propaganda attacks since KB time and of course, from 1986. However, she admits that they also have a part in not airing their side. They do not have the sympathy of the media. It is only now that social media allows real people to air their part of the story. She also has nice words for millennials who are fortunate enough to have the technology throughout their existence. They can’t be fooled, she said.
Changes in Society
Under the leadership of President Rodrigo Roa Du30, the projects of former President Marcos are acknowledged. Better yet, beneficial works that were halted during the 1986 power grab by the Aquinos are revived. The infrastructure move is now continued with the Build Build Build initiative.Perhaps the nuclear power plant can serve areas that are not provided with enough electricity from the Meralco monopoly. Natural energy developments like solar, windmill and others can mushroom very soon. Most of all, the deuterium exploration and extraction can finally see the light.
Supporting the Boss of the Country
The anti-oligarchy Filipino leader who has a genuine pride of a sovereign country does not tolerate colonial mentality. That is what he has in common with the late President Marcos. Dictatorship can never happen in the Philippines. All major decisions must go through the Senate and the Congress. This is why the very able soon to be lady Senator Imee Marcos vows to work behind the good President Du30.
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?
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.
Gov. Imee Marcos faces the media in Manila while her lawyers filed before the Supreme Court an omnibus petition to seek the liberty of her employees. This is an order that “enjoins and prohibits” the conduct of the House investigation, and the issuance of the writ. Marcos swears that Ilocos Norte remembers and condemns Rudy Fariñas’ ambition to be Ombudsman and Congress Rep. for his daughter.
Youtube video by; ABS-CBN News
[VIDEO]: Ayon kay Marcos, gusto niyang pumunta sa pagdinig pero mayroong nagpapayo sa kaniya na sa Ilocos na lamang magpa-interrogate sa pamamagitan ng video conference.
Illegal, Cruel and Evil
“Incarcerating my poor, old, defenseless employees in order to force them to testify against me and against the province is not only illegal, cruel and evil, it is also cowardly,” Marcos said. “Please, Congress, free the “Ilocos Six,” and if this is truly the ‘Game of Thrones,’ please be warned today: the North remembers and it never forgets,” she vowed.
Disruption of Public Service
She said the allegation distracts the Ilocos Norte officials from attending to the province’s affairs. Marcos and her detained finance officials; Pedro Agcaoili, chair of the provincial bids and awards committee and provincial planning and development officer; Evangeline Tabulog, provincial budget officer; Josephine Calajate, provincial treasurer; Eden Battulayan, provincial accountant; and provincial treasurer’s office staff Genedine Jambaro and Encarnacion Gaor are the petitioners in the official plea.
Crisis in Congress
House Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas, Marcos’ local rival, Surigao del Sur Rep. Johnny Pimentel, chair of the Committee on Good Government and Public Accountability, and Lt. Gen. Roland Detabali, the House Sergeant-at-Arms are under the lawsuit. “If there is terrorism in Marawi, there is a hostage crisis in Congress. Marcos describes the plight of the Ilocos Norte officials where they are held hostage in the House of Representatives.
Marcos, daughter of the late President Ferdinand Marcos whose family has loyal followers nationwide especially in the north, traced the controversy to an early “politicking” for local positions in her province. Fariñas family has a stake, especially in the governorship and mayoralty. The Senate and the Congress are also possible branches for nationwide positions that the two families can clash.
Democracy is tested in the Philippines with the involvements of the 3 co-equal branches of the government over the Ilocos 6. Due to the abuse of power in the Congress, Gov. Imee Marcos seeks the intervention of the Supreme court. The executive powers seem to agree with this.
Youtube video by; PTV
[VIDEO]: Gov. Imee Marcos: Usapin sa Ilocos 6, dahil sa away-politika
Marcos Fights Fariñas
Ilocos Norte governor Imee Marcos said the House investigation into the alleged illegal purchase of P66.4 million worth of buses and multi-cabs that are considered by the Congress as an alleged misuse of tobacco excise taxes – even before reaching the verdict obviously stemmed from her political rivalry with Fariñas in their province.
On to the Supreme Court
Marcos lambasts her political rival Rep. Rodolfo Fariñas and dared him to bring the fight back to their province. She also seeks intervention from the Supreme Court at the same time. Legal experts already urged the Congress to respect the SC’s show cause order for the immediate conditional release of the six Ilocos Norte government officials but they were simply ignored.
Local Politics to Ombudsman
Since local politics started it all, Marcos thinks that they should just bring the fight back to Ilocos Norte. She explained that she reconciled with Fariñas in 2010 only to have a falling out again. This is after the lawmaker requested that his daughter succeeds him as a congressional representative. Fariñas allegedly wants to ombudsman after serving three terms in Congress.
The COA reports show that all projects questioned are fully liquidated. There’s never an anomaly or ghost project, said Marcos. These vehicles benefitted our farmers,” she added. Fariñas’ son Rodolfo Jr. and nephew Jeff Erickson requested for mini trucks questioned. Can this be a sabotage by the elderly Fariñas? Nothing is wrong in procuring the vehicles via the cash advance scheme instead of public bidding. The governor argues that the method is legal.
Bongbong Marcos has never seen the kind of cruelty to the Ilocos Norte witnesses now called as Ilocos 6 that is extended to his sister, Gov. Imee Marcos. He has been a congressman himself and it never happened before in the House of Representatives that they do such a thing.
Youtube video by; GMA News
[VIDEO]: Gov. Imee Marcos, idinulog sa SC ang pagkakadetine sa Kamara ng tinaguriang Ilocos six
This is what Marcos thinks of the Congress; “I think it’s entirely unnecessary and the word, I believe, is cruel,” he said. Marcos’ sister, Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos, was subpoenaed by the House of Representatives to attend the hearing on July 25. She already refused 3 hearings before that on the alleged ₱66-million purchase of government vehicles using funds for tobacco farmers.
Gov. Marcos was willing to attend the hearing. It’s Bongbong Marcos who is against it. This prompted Pimentel to warn the former senator that he could be cited for contempt. Marcos then commented that the move seemed to be a part of some kind of personal revenge or political campaign.
House Majority Leader and Ilocos Norte 1st District Rep. Rudy Farinas spearheads the inquiry. He was a previously a political ally of the Marcoses. It is now known that he wanted his daughter to run as the representative for District 1 for Ilocos Norte. Gov. Marcos even transferred to District 2 after his request. However, the political ambition of the clan goes beyond that. They want to destroy the Marcoses.
Marcos said that the so-called “Ilocos 6” were members of his staff during his time as governor. Then inherited by his sister when she assumed the post. “Now they’re languishing in this little room in the House of Representatives for no good reason as far as I can see, except that perhaps the members of the Committee did not like their answers,” he said.
Marcos Lawyer, Estelito Mendoza said that Congress commits an “act of torture.” This is on their move to detain the six Ilocos Norte public officials. They work for Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos. Mendoza presses the Court of Appeals to issue a writ of habeas corpus for their immediate release. They are still not free for almost a month now.
Youtube video by; Rappler
[VIDEO]: The House committee on good government and public accountability votes to issue a show cause order against 3 CA justices who ordered the release of 6 Ilocos Norte officials detained at the lower chamber.
“The force of the habeas corpus laws is disregarded by oblivious by lawmakers. This is in open defiance of the rule of law,” Mendoza said. The six provincial officials are detained for an indefinite period. The House aims to force them to give the answers needed by Majority Leader and Ilocos Norte Rep. Rodolfo Fariñas. He intends to implicate Gov. Marcos in the tobacco excise tax funds anomaly for political gains.
No Ground to Detain Ilocos 6
The House rules do not allow the indefinite detention of witnesses who are held in contempt during legislative inquiries. Those who are cited in contempt for “acting in a disrespectful manner” or for “undue interference” during hearings may be detained for not more than 10 days only. Why does the House tolerate such dictatorship action by solons?
Show Cause Order
The House committee votes for the provisional release of the Ilocos Norte official. It is against Acting Presiding Justice Stephen Cruz, justices Erwin Sorongon and Nina Antonino-Valenzuela’s release order. Solons ordered them to explain why they should not be held in contempt for their release order.
CA’s Turn for Contempt Citation
The CA and the House display a power fight for a while now. They exchange show cause orders to compel the other side to explain why they should not be cited in contempt. Now, the CA wants the House committee to explain why it should not be cited in contempt for defying its orders.
The House of Representatives or the lower House of Congress insists on continuing to detain the six Ilocos Norte officials. This is even if the writ of habeas corpus from the Court of Appeals was secured. House Majority Leader Rodolfo C. Fariñas presses on the resource persons to tell the truth. Is implicating Gov. Imee Marcos the truth for Fariñas?
Youtube video by; Rappler
[VIDEO]: The House committee on good government and public accountability wants Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos to personally explain why the Capitol used P66.45 million in tobacco funds to purchase motor vehicles.
Diversion of Funds?
Although it is unconstitutional to divert funds to another purpose, Marcos’ case here can be similar to Pnoy’s DAP case if the photocopy of the evidence is indeed genuine. It was justified in the Ombudsman that the former President was not guilty of corruption because the money was not pocketed. It’s just a mere mishandling of the process which made Abad liable for it.
Marcos faces controversy over the alleged diversion of P66.45 million in public funds from Ilocos Norte’s share of excise tax collections on cigarettes. The money was allegedly used to fund motor vehicles without public bidding. One of the detained officials however attested that there was bidding but Fariñas doubts that.
What is the Truth?
It is clear that Fariñas wants to prove that Marcos deliberately ordered the diversion of funds to implicate her. Nevertheless, it is also very obvious that the six officials are very careful not to give him the satisfaction that he aims for. Since the original document is non-existent, it is also possible that the tobacco funds are not misused. Marcos can also accuse Fariñas of faking the said evidence. Time can only tell.
Will Gov. Imee Marcos Show Up?
House committee on good government and public accountability chairperson Representative Johnny Pimentel warns Governor Marcos that she will be cited for contempt if she fails to attend the hearing on July 25. They even threaten to do a “Dayan” for Marcos. He was the ex-boyfriend of Senator Leila de Lima who at first did not show up on hearings. Will they have the same luck with Marcos?