- Ilocos Norte guv decried arrest threat as bullying, vowed not to be cowed
- She defended LGU’s purchase of vehicles, said they underwent normal bidding process
- She also said her brother advised her not to attend House hearing as she might be detained
MANILA, Philippines – Beleaguered Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos vowed not to be intimidated by the threat of arrest by the House of Representatives amid its latest warning for her to attend its probe on her provincial government’s alleged misuse of tobacco founds.
“We will not allow it. We will seek justice using the legal and right procedure and will not submit to the bullying by Congress,” the Philippine Daily Inquirer quoted her as saying.
The House, which has been holding a series of hearings into the province’s anomalous purchase of vehicles worth P66.45 million, has currently in its custody six Ilocos Norte provincial employees who were found in contempt for supposedly giving evasive answers during the inquiries.
Their detention has also sparked a looming constitutional crisis pitting the House against the Court of Appeals after three appellate justices granted their petition for habeas corpus.
However, Marcos defended her administration’s purchase of the vehicles; saying they underwent normal bidding procedures and were dubbed clean by the Commission on Audit.
“It was a special fund. The purchases underwent pre-audit and post-audit by the Commission on Audit. There was no audit observation memo [after the transaction]. There was no adverse findings in the annual report of COA, unlike other provinces,” she said.
Marcos added that though she wants to attend the hearings, she had been advised by her brother and former senator Bongbong Marcos otherwise.
“I really want to attend. I want to explain myself in Congress but others said I should not. Bongbong told me I could also be detained,” she said.