REP. Johnny Pimentel of the committee on good government and public accountability at the House of Representatives said he would resign from his post if Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos could prove her allegation that “yellow forces” were dangling P100 million to lawmakers to ensure her detention at the Batasang Pambansa in Quezon City.
Pimentel was reacting to The Manila Times’ exclusive report on Tuesday, July 18, in connection with the ongoing inquiry by Pimentel’s panel on the alleged misuse of the P66 million worth of tobacco funds to purchase motor vehicles without public bidding and through cash advances wich, he said, violated existing laws on tobacco fund use.
“I am denying that we are being paid for such [detention of Imee]. That is a blatant lie. The LP is not even in involved in this inquiry. This is an inquiry made the by the House [as an institution],” Pimentel, a member of President Rodrigo’s PDP-Laban, told reporters.
“If she can prove her allegations, I will resign as chairman of the House committee on good government and public accountability. That is how vehemently I deny her accusations,” Pimentel said.
Marcos has sought the intervention of the Supreme Court over the show cause order issued against her by Pimentel’s panel for refusing to show up in the House inquiry, as well as for the release of the six Ilocos Norte government officials detained in Batasan for refusing to testify on the controversy despite the appearance of their signatures on purchase orders and requests for cash advances approved by Marcos.
“Governor Imee is diverting the attention of the public with a fantastic and unbelievable lie. If she is indeed innocent, then why is she refusing to show up in the inquiry? She should not divert the issue,” Pimentel stressed.
“Besides, you can just check the Audit Observation Report of COA (Commission on Audit) which stated that Ilocos Norte should not have resorted to cash advances because it could result to misappropriation of funds. She failed to dispute that,” Pimentel said.