House sergeant-at-arms fails to present 6 Ilocos Norte gov’t workers in court
The House of Representatives sergeant-at-arms has failed to comply with the Court of Appeals’ order to bring six employees of the Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte (PGIN) to court following the granting of a writ of habeas corpus petition.
PGIN employees acted as resource persons for the congressional inquiry into PGIN’s purchase of motor vehicles amounting to P66.450-million sourced from the province’s share of the Tobacco Excise Tax.
These vehicles had been distributed to different barangay heads for use of tobacco farmers and other agricultural processes as a post-harvest facility, such as in transporting produce from farms to markets. Earlier, Ilocos Norte barangay captains and farmers, who were recipients of the multicabs, have reiterated their support for the project.
House Majority Leader and Ilocos Norte 1st District Rep. Rodolfo Fariñas cited the PGIN employees in contempt and motioned for their detention for “refusing to answer questions” he asked regarding the purchases based on photocopied documents.
A petition for habeas corpus was filed with the Court of Appeals which was granted.
The appeals court ordered the House of Representatives Sergeant-at-arms to bring the six employees to court on Monday.
But during Monday’s hearing, the six employees remained absent.
Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos who attended the hearing urged Congress to release PGIN’s six employees.
“Ang problema ay pulitikang lokal. Ito ay hind dapat dinadala sa Kongreso at higit sa lahat wag naman gamitin ang mga lola na nagkakasakit na sa detention,” she told reporters.
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