A lawmaker has called on Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos to stop whining and instead show up at the House of Representatives on July 25 when it resumes its investigation on the alleged misuse of P66 million worth of tobacco funds.
Rep. Benhur Lopez Jr. of You Against Corruption and Poverty (YACAP) party-list issued gave this piece of advice to Marcos on Sunday, a day after the Ilocos Norte Governor accused the House of being unfair since her accusers were the same people investigating her.
“Marcos should just explain, instead of continuously complaining about the probe and the detention at the Batasang Pambansa Complex of her six accomplices in the suspected fund scam—the same people who have been afflicted with collective amnesia,” Lopez said in a statement.
Lopez was referring to Josephine Calajate, Ilocos Norte’s provincial treasurer; Encarnacion Gaor and Genedine Jambaro, both working at the Provincial Treasurer’s Office; Evangeline Tabulog, provincial budget officer; Eden Battulayan, OIC-accountant; and Pedro Agcaoili, chairman of the bids and awards committee of the Provincial Planning and Development Office who have been detained at the Batasan Pambansa complex since May 29.
They were ordered detained for refusing to confirm tobacco fund transactions allegedly used to buy motor vehicles.
“Instead of running to the Supreme Court or to the media, she should just spill the beans before the committee,” Lopez added.
The House committee on good government and public accountability headed by Rep. Johnny Pimentel of Surigao del Sur has been investigating the P66 million tobacco fund allegedly used to purchase 40 multicabs worth P18.6 million, five second hand Hyundai buses amounting to P15.3 million and 70 mini-trucks priced at P32.5 million.
The vehicles were procured in 2011 and 2012 using cash advances from the proceeds of the tobacco excise tax instead of undergoing public bidding.
“Governor Marcos’ claims fly in the face of factual and testimonial evidence gathered by the Pimentel committee,” Lopez said.
LLANESCA T. PANTI