Former Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. may be charged with obstruction of justice for advising his older sister, Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos, not to attend the congressional inquiry on the alleged misuse of P66 million worth of tobacco fund.
Rep. Johnny Pimentel of Surigao del Sur, Chairman of the House Committee on Good Government and Public Accountability, was referring to former Senator Marcos’ advice to his sister that she should not attend the congressional investigation because she would be detained just like the six Ilocos Norte government officials who have been dubbed in media as the “Ilocos 6”.
Ilocos Norte treasurer Josephine Calajate, accountant Edna Batulayan, budget officer Evangeline Tabulog, bids and awards committee head Pedro Agcaoili and Genedine Jambaro and Encarnacion Gaor of the provincial treasurer’s office have been in detention in Batasang Pambansa since May 29 due to their refusal to confirm their signatures on certified true copies of purchase orders and vouchers involving the purchase of motor vehicles and medicines, among others, using the P66 million tobacco fund without public bidding.
“Sorry to say, they might be liable for that. It will be the committee who will decide now whether we will cite former Senator Marcos for contempt,” Pimentel said in a radio interview.
Pimentel, however, clarified that the “Ilocos 6” would be released as soon as they could answer the questions of lawmakers truthfully.
Also on Wednesday, Pimentel disclosed that he signed the show cause order which ordered the three justices of the Court of Appeals who ordered the release of the local government employees to explain why they should not be cited in contempt for such action.
The CA’s Fourth Division granted a petition by the Ilocos 6 for the writ of habeas corpus that would have resulted in their release from detention since they were not facing charges.
Last December, the Justice department headed by Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre 2nd filed obstruction on justice raps against Sen. Leila de Lima in connection with her advice to former driver and boyfriend Ronnie Dayan not to attend a congressional inquiry on the alleged proliferation of illegal drugs inside the National Bilibid Prisons (NBP).
Dayan’s daughter, Hannah, revealed that Tita Lai, referring to de Lima, advised his father not to show up in the House investigation because lawmakers would just embarrass Dayan and de Lima over their romantic relationship.
De Lima is now in detention on drug-related charges—all of which she has denied.