"Rudy Fariñas hell bent to nail me!" - Imee Marcos Asks Reps to follow courts, end Ilocos 6 "hostage crisis"Jul 15, 2017
Ilocos Norte Governor Imee R. Marcos has described the House of Representatives Committee on Good Government and Public Accountability's inquiry into the province's use of tobacco funds as a witch hunt hell bent on nailing her.
Marcos noted that Congressman Rodolfo Fariñas who filed the resolution was her arch rival in local politics and has "dominated the tobacco fund hearing since day one." She said that he has been acting as investigator, prosecutor, and judge.
"Hindi kasi pantay ang laban sa Kongreso. Kung sinong nag-akusa sa'yo, siya pa rin ang magsisiyasat. Siya pa rin ang maghahatol bilang judge, at sa bandang huli, tulad ng detention ng 'Ilocos Six,' siya pa rin ang magkukulong at mag-uutos ikulong kung mali o ayon sa hindi nila gustong sagot."
The "Ilocos Six" are employees of the Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte (PGIN) who have been detained at the House Office of the Sergeant-at-Arms since May 29.
Under oath, they had requested to see first the original vouchers and documents pertaining to the transactions in question, as the House Committee had only presented photocopies.
"Unang-una, tinurn-over namin 'yan sa COA [Commission on Audit]. Ang COA raw ang nakawala, at sila naman ang nag-aamin na ito nga ang nangyari," Marcos said.
She also revealed a sworn statement of janitor and messenger Mr. Pedro Mandac Gorospe Jr. saying that in 2013 he had been instructed by Mrs. Cynthia Gorospe to take from the COA Office, three sets of documents including vouchers and checks, and to make photocopies of these.
The latter Gorospe is a known coordinator of Fariñas.
"Alam na natin kung sinong dumukot noon. Papaano ko mapro-produce ang original?"
Marcos likened the "Ilocos Six" detention to a "hostage crisis," wondering out loud, "Ano ang nangyari, pinipilit silang magsabi ng hindi totoo para sila ay makalaya?"
She also reiterated instances of the House thrice defying the Court of Appeals' order for provisional release of the six employees.
"Kaya ngayon, pilit kaming pupunta sa Korte Suprema. 'Wag sanang papalag ang ating mga justices dahil sila ang huli at kataas-taasang hukuman."
Local politics behind inquiry
In 2010, Fariñas and Marcos had campaigned and won together, but the former was later removed from the "One Ilocos Norte" slate in 2013.
"Ang katunggali ni Apo Congressman sa pulitika noon ay si [Former Senator] BongBong, kasi tatlong beses siyang talo nang talo. Alam natin 'yon. 2001, 2004, talo na ulit bilang gobernador, 2007. Kailan nanalo? Kasama ko. 2010," said Marcos.
She admitted to believing that Fariñas had changed despite a blemished history as a public official, including a case of illegal detention of his employees "sa Vault ng Kapitolyo" during his term as governor of Ilocos Norte (1988-1998).
"Ngayon, gusto niyang umatras ako para walang kalaban ang anak niya na si Ria Fariñas na Board Member ngayon, para sa 2019 ay tuloy-tuloy ang succession."
While Governor Marcos was not in favor of this intention, she followed the advice of her mother, 2nd District Rep. Imelda R. Marcos, not to put up a fight.
"Ang ginawa ko, umatras nga. Lumipat ako sa dati naming distrito kahit nakatira ako sa Laoag, sa First District. Bumalik ako sa Batac at kinuha pa ng tao ni Congressman yung aking mga papeles para siguraduhin na wala na ako sa First District, para sa kanyang anak."
In addition, she bared Fariñas' ambition to become Ombudsman or again Governor of Ilocos Norte.
"Pag-usapan na lamang ang lahat ng 'yan. Hindi ko naman kinakailangan na manatili sa kapangyarihan lagi," Marcos said, "ang kapangyarihan, alam na nating hiram lang 'yan, paminsan-minsan. Kung minsan nandiyan, kung minsan wala."