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SC dismisses Imee Marcos’ petition on ‘Ilocos Six’

/ 06:42 PM July 10, 2018

The Supreme Court has dismissed the petition filed by Ilocos Norte Governor Imee R. Marcos to release the six Ilocos Norte government employees detained at the House of Representatives last year.

The employees have been detained supposedly for unsatisfactorily answering queries on the province’s alleged misuse of the P66.45 million in tobacco tax funds, but they were released after 50 days in detention.

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READ: ‘Ilocos Six’ free to go

On Tuesday’s en banc (full court) session, justices voted to dismiss the habeas corpus petition filed last year by Marcos and her six subordinates — Pedro Agcaoili, Provincial Planning and Development Office chairperson; Josephine Calajate, provincial treasurer; Eden Battulayan, Provincial Treasurer’s Office staff; Encarnacion Gaor, Provincial Treasurer’s Office staff; Genedine Jambaro, Provincial Treasurer’s Office staff; and Evangeline Tabulog, provincial budget officer.

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“The Court found that the habeas corpus aspect was rendered moot and academic by the release of the petitioners,” according to a media briefer released by the SC public information in the afternoon.

The high court also denied the plea of the petitioners for issuance of prohibition order and writ of Amparo against the House.

“The prohibition aspect finds no justification as the Court found no grave abuse of discretion on the part of respondents,” the SC briefer noted.

Filed last year, the petition urged the high court to issue a Writ of Amparo against the House of Representatives, particularly its committee on good government and public accountability and its chairman, Ilocos Norte Representative Rodolfo Fariñas.

The so-called “Ilocos Six” were detained for more than two months after they were cited in contempt by the House committee on good government and public accountability. The employees were ordered released after the Court of Appeals granted their habeas corpus petition.

However, the House officials refused to accept the orders and insisted that they were invalid because the appellate court has no jurisdiction over the matter.

Instead, the House committee issued a show cause order requiring the CA justices to explain why they should not be cited in contempt for ordering the release of the ‘Ilocos Six.’

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Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez also earlier threatened to abolish the CA and disbar the three justices in the CA division that issued the orders. The case was then elevated to the Supreme Court. — With Alyssa Javier/INQUIRER.net Intern

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TAGS: habeas corpus petition, Ilocos Six, Imee Marcos, Supreme Court decision
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