Fariñas, Marcos swap raps of stealing original tobacco fund papers
MANILA — House Majority Floor Leader Rodolfo Fariñas has called out Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos for her “very cheap and wild desperation shot,” after she accused him of stealing the original documents on transactions using proceeds from the tobacco excise tax.
Marcos claimed in a Wednesday statement that Fariñas’ personnel swiped the original documents from the Commission on Audit’s office inside the provincial capitol. She added that the Ilocos Six officials only declined to give sworn statements on the photocopies presented to avoid the risk of committing perjury.
Sought for comment, Fariñas called out Marcos for “coming up with a yarn” and shot back that “her people stole the original documents and now claim the loss of such as their alibi not to remember the transactions subject of the inquiry”
“Really? Who’s using the loss of the originals as an alibi in not remembering the transactions under question?” he exclaimed.
At the same time, he mocked Marcos for appearing in a July 13 press conference in Manila, where she compared the investigation to the politics of Game of Thrones and quoted: “The North remembers and it never forgets.”
“She even borrowed a line from the Game of Thrones that the North remembers! Really? How come the Amnesiac 6 do not remember the P66.45M cash advances that Imee gave them?” Fariñas said.
“She should appear at the hearing, if she is really from the North, and show the Filipino people how she’ll help the Amnesiac 6 remember their suspicious cash transactions.”
Fariñas also called out Marcos for asking the Supreme Court to prohibit the House good government and public accountability committee’s inquiry while going on “a media blitz for her false statements.”
“The public clearly sees who is spending millions of pesos to cover up the loss of the bulk of P66.45M of tobacco funds,” he said.
The Ilocos Six refers to the following employees: provincial planning and development officer and bids and awards committee chair Pedro Agcaoili, provincial budget officer Evangeline Tabulog, provincial treasurer Josephine Calajate, accountant Eden Battulayan, and treasury office staff Genedine Jambaro and Encarnacion Gaor.
They were detained at the House since May 29 after giving unsatisfactory answers during the committee inquiry on the alleged misuse of P66.45-million tobacco tax proceeds to purchase government vehicles supposedly without public bidding, instead of spending on projects for the benefit of tobacco farmers. SFM
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