Gov. Imee calls on Ilocanos to pray for ‘Ilocos 6’

LAOAG CITY — Ilocos Norte Governor Ma. Imelda Josefa “Imee” Marcos on Friday urged all Ilocanos to pray for the so-called “Ilocos 6” at the House of Representatives who are detained for almost a month now.

Placing a huge banner at the facade of the Provincial Capitol building which states in bold letters “Release Ilocos 6”, supporters are rallying behind the four department heads and two cashiers, appealing that they may soon be sent back home.

On the same day, village and town officials including barangay health workers, volunteers and senior citizens’ groups went to the Capitol to meet with the governor who has not showed up for a couple of months because she was on sick leave.

Gov. Marcos challenged authorities to bring the issue to court instead of grandstanding at the House of Representatives.

She maintained there was no irregularity in the purchase of mini trucks and buses worth Php 66.45 million using the tobacco excise tax share of the province five years ago.

“Ipagdasal natin sila at sana ay makabalik at makatulong ulit sila. Ang daming apektado gaya ng postponed bidding, pati purchase of medical supplies, police gas allowance at iba pa,” Marcos lamented.

The six employees namely — Provincial Planning and Development Officer and Chairman of the Bids and Awards Committee Pedro Agcaoili; Provincial Treasurer Josephine Calajate; Provincial Budget Officer Evengeline Tabulog; Acting Provincial Accountant Eden Battulayan; and cashiers Genedine Jambaro and Encarnacion Gaor — are being investigated for the Capitol’s purchase of motor vehicles sourced from tobacco excise taxes and were cited in contempt by Ilocos Norte 1st District Rep. Rodolfo “Rudy” C. Fariñas for “refusing to answer questions” and being “evasive”.

Despite the release order being served three times, they are still under the House custody and are detained until the next hearing. LGA/PNA –