MAJORITY Leader Rodolfor Fariñas in the House of Representatives has admitted to distributing motor vehicles in question with Gov. Imee Marcos but denied any knowledge that they were purchased illegally.
Fariñas made the statement after Marcos released photos showing her and Fariñas together in the turnover of the motor vehicles to the barangay (village) captains, which coincided with their blessing.
“Yes, I was invited during the distribution and I can attest that they were given to barangay captains. I had no idea or information that tobacco funds were used to purchase them, [it was done]thru cash advances, there was no public bidding and the each motor vehicle [shown in the photos]are worth P465,000 which would have shocked me,” Fariñas told reporters.
Fariñas filed House Resolution 882 which jumpstarted the congressional inquiry on the use of P66 million worth of tobacco funds for motor vehicles in defiance of existing laws by the Ilocos Norte provincial government.
Governor Marcos has refused to attend the congressional inquiry, the three times she has been summoned and was facing arrest. She has sought the intervention of the Supreme Court.
A t least six provincial government officials have been detained in Batasan since May 29 after they were cited in contempt by the House for refusing to confirm the transactions involving the purchase of the motor vehicles using tobacco funds despite documentary evidence from the Commission on Audit (COA).
Likewise, Fariñas argued that he distributed multicabs to the villages under his district at the right prices.
“Pickups [given in my district]like those shown in the pictures being distributed [were priced]at P180,000 each, while pickups with canopy for its bed is worth P200,000 [each],” Fariñas, a lawyer, pointed out.
The pickups with canopy (with glass windows), on the other hand, are worth slightly higher at P250,000 each.
“Please canvass around for the prices of such multicabs. Thanks,” Fariñas added.