MANILA, Philippines – The House of Representatives committee on good government and public accountability on Tuesday, May 16, cited for contempt 7 Ilocos Norte capitol officials who snubbed two hearings on the alleged misuse of Ilocos Norte tobacco funds. (Watch the House hearing live here)
The 7 provincial officials are the following:
- Josephine Calajete, Ilocoso Norte provincial treasurer
- Encarnacion Gaor, Ilocos Norte Office of the Provincial Treasurer staff
- Genedine Jambaro, Ilocos Norte Office of the Provincial Treasurer staff
- Evangeline Tabulog, Ilocos Norte provincial budget officer
- Eden Battulayan, Ilocos Norte Provincial Accounting Office accountant IV
- Pedro Agcaoili, Ilocos Norte Provincial Planning and Development Office staff
- Joseph Castro, Ilocos Norte general services officer
The House probe is looking into the allegations made by Majority Leader and Ilocos Norte Representative Rodolfo Fariñas against Governor Imee Marcos.
Fariñas said his former ally diverted over P66 million in tobacco funds to buy motor vehicles. (READ: House panel wants Imee Marcos to explained ‘misuse’ of tobacco funds)
Under Republic Act Number 7171, 15% of cigarette excise taxes shall be allotted for a special support fund for tobacco farmers, who may use the money for cooperative, livelihood, agro-industrial, and infrastructure projects.
Marcos was also invited to Tuesday’s hearing but did not show up.
Committee on good government and public accountability chair Surigao Del Sur Representative Johnny Pimentel said they will issue a subpoena against her. – with reports from Mara Cepeda/Rappler.com