Friday, July 21, 2017

Fariñas wonders why Imee is afraid to appear in House probe: If she’s innocent, why not testify under oath?

House Majority Floor Leader Rodolfo Fariñas has expressed puzzlement over Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos’ refusal to appear in the legislative inquiry about the province’s alleged misuse of its tobacco excise tax collection.

In a statement Thursday (July 13), Fariñas also said he cannot understand why Marcos’ subordinates, known as the “Ilocos 6,” would rather be held in contempt and detained for their refusal to answer questions over the province’s questionable purchase of vehicles worth P66.45 million.

“Initially, if what she is saying are true, why is she afraid to appear and state them under oath in the House inquiry? Why has she ordered her 6 subordinates not to remember the 3 transactions subject of the inquiry?” he asked.

“Finally, if the 3 transactions were all legal, why do they continue to invoke their right against self-incrimination?” he added.

Fariñas said it was “incomprehensible” that the “Ilocos 6” would be tight-lipped about the purchase unless they are shown the original documents, which have gone missing.

“Gov. Marcos claims that the use of cash advances for the purchase of the 115 vehicles is legal , but her 6 subordinates refuse to answer the simple question if cash advances were resorted to in these transactions. Are they all afraid to be eventually asked and reveal who actually received and kept the P66.45M in cash?” he asked.

The House leader said it was clear that the crimes of falsification of public documents and non-delivery of vehicles were committed since not one Foton mini truck was delivered to Ilocos Norte even if it was Marcos who asked for and approved the purchase.

Marcos has refused to appear in the House committee on good government and public accountability’s investigation about the deal, saying she was advised against it because she might be detained.

In a press conference earlier in the day, Marcos dared Fariñas to bring back the fight to Ilocos Norte since their spat was rooted in politics.

She also maintained that the purchase of vehicles was aboveboard.

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