Friday, August 18, 2017

Maawa na kayo: Imelda Marcos asks House leaders to release ‘Ilocos 6’

Former First Lady and now Ilocos Norte Rep. Imelda Marcos has stepped into the standoff over the continued detention of six provincial government employees by the House of Representatives.

Marcos on Sunday (June 19) urged House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez and Surigao del Sur Rep. Johnny Pimentel to release the so-called “Ilocos Six,” who have been detained at the House for contempt since late May.

“I urge Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez to allow the release of the six employees of the provincial government of Ilocos Norte on my own recognizance,” Marcos said in a statement.

“Since the Ilocos 6 are also my constituents, I am making this appeal to the House leadership to release them for humanitarian reasons,” she added.

Pimentel is chair of the House committee on Good Government and Accountability which is investigating the Ilocos Norte government’s purchase of P66.45 million worth of motor vehicles through the alleged misuse of the province’s tobacco excise funds.

Marcos, mother of Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos, promised to make sure that the six employees will continue attending the legislative inquiry.

The following have been detained at the House since May 29: Bids and Awards Committee and Provincial and Planning Development Unit chair Pedro Agcaoili, Provincial Treasurer Josephine Calajate, accountant Edna Battulayan, Provincial Budget Officer Evangeline Tabulog, and Treasury Office employees Genedine Jambaro and Encarnacion Gaor.

The Court of Appeals has ordered the release of the “Ilocos Six” but the House leadership has ignored the ruling.

Marcos said her proposal is a “win-win solution” since it prevents the House from going on a collision course with the Court of Appeals.

Alvarez said the House will only release the detained employees if they tell the truth regarding the supposedly anomalous deal.

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