MANILA, Philippines — Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos will be attending the July 25 hearing at the House of Representatives into the allegedly anomalous purchase of provincial government vehicles, her brother, former senator Ferdinand Jr., said Friday.
“Pupunta siya. Pinaghahandaan na niya testimonya niya at saka ‘yung hinahanap na mga dokumento (She will attend. She is preparing her testimony and the documents they are looking for), so I think she will be ready (on the) 25th,” he said in an interview with radio station dzRH.
The House has subpoenaed the governor and threatened to cite her in contempt and have her arrested if she does not show up on July 25.
Six Ilocos Norte employees are detained at the House for supposedly refusing to cooperate into the probe into the allegedly illegal use of the province’s share of the tobacco excise tax to procure P66.45 million worth of vehicles.
At a press conference Thursday after filing a petition asking the Supreme Court to issue a writ of amparo in favor of the “Ilocos 6,” Governor Marcos insisted that the purchase of the vehicles complied with all applicable laws and bidding and audit rules.
The former senator acknowledged advising his elder sister that it might be best to stay away from the House inquiry over concerns the House might free the “Ilocos 6” but detain her instead.
“Aming kinakatakutan na ‘yun na nga na ang kondisyon na ipakawala ‘yung anim ay ikukulong si Gov. Imee (We feared that a condition for the release of the six is the detention of Governor Imee),” he said.
“Sinasabi ko dahil sa tingin ko ‘yung nangyari doon sa empleyado namin na anim naka-detain ngayon sa Congress. Kahit anong sinagot nila ay ide-detain sila… Kaya’t sabi ko sa kapatid ko, ‘Eh kung gano’n lang ang gagawin … gagawin sa ‘yo’,” he said.
(I was telling what I thought about the six employees detained in Congress. No matter what they said, they would be detained… So I told my sister, ‘If that is what they are doing, they are going to do it to you.’)
He also lamented that the issue had turned personal and escalated to the point of a possible constitutional crisis with threats from the House to cite justices of the Court of Appeals with contempt, abolish the court altogether, and impeach the Chief Justice.
“Hindi na talaga para in aid of legislation kaya’t ‘yun ay medyo sa aming nakikita. Ibalik naman natin ang usapan doon talaga sa kung may imbestigasyon man (It was no longer in aid of legislation from what we’re seeing. Let’s bring back the discussion on the investigation),” he said. “Huwag na natin idamay ang ibang tao. Huwag na natin idamay ang mga justice, huwag na natin idamay ang mga empleyado (Let’s not involve other people. Let’s not involve the justices and the employees.)”