The House of Representatives will not comply with the Court of Appeals ruling ordering the release of six Ilocos Norte provincial government officials accused of misusing of P66.45 million in tobacco funds.
Deputy Speaker Frednil Castro of Capiz was referring to the case of Pedro Agcaoili, chairman of the Provincial Planning and Development Office, Josephine Calajate, provincial treasurer, Evangeline Tabulog, provincial budget officer and Eden Battulayan, Encarnacion Gaor and Genedine Jambaro, staff at the Provincial Treasurer’s Office.
They were detained because of their supposed evasive answers during the probe sought by House Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas of Ilocos Norte.
“I believe it is right to stand our ground because otherwise, who would attend congressional investigations? What would Congress be without its coercive powers?” Castro said in a radio interview.
“Our coercive powers are there for a reason: so that people will toe the line. We are being assertive because we know something is wrong in our country,” he added.
The six provincial officers were quizzed on the use of tobacco funds to purchase vehicles.