Former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. visited the six employees of Ilocos Norte provincial office detained at the House of Representatives and assured them of his support.
Marcos said he delivered a letter from the six employees appealing to Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez to respect the ruling of the Court of Appeals (CA) that ordered their release.
“We are continuing to pursue all legal avenues for them to be released. …It is very rare that any branch defies the order of the judiciary,” he said.
The appellate court directed the House sergeant-at-arms to explain why he should not be cited in contempt for defying its order to present the six employees before the court.
In a reply on Wednesday, June 14, Alvarez said, “That’s gross ignorance of the law. Mga gago ‘yang tatlong justices na ‘yan.” (Those justices are stupid.)
Roland Detabali, the sergeant-at-arms, confirmed the visit by Marcos at around 1 p.m. He said the former senator stayed for an hour and was met by House secretary general Cesar Pareja.
Detabali said the six detainees were being taken care of and were allowed walking exercises daily.
The Ilocos Norte employees – Genedine D. Jambaro, Encarnacion A. Gaor, Josephine P. Calajate, Eden C. Battulayan, Evangeline C. Tabuluog, and Pedro S. Agcaoili Jr – have been detained at the Batasan Complex since May 29.
They were cited in contempt by the House committee on good government and public accountability for refusing to provide information on its investigation into the alleged misuse of P66.45 million in tobacco funds under Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos, a political ally-turned-nemesis of Majority Leader Rodoflo Farinas.
The tobacco funds were allegedly used to buy motor vehicles.