Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos withdrew her earlier allegation that the Liberal Party bribed lawmakers with a P100-million fun to stop her from attending the House hearing into her alleged misuse of tobacco funds.
Asked by Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas about her source when she told The Manila Times that “yellow” of forces have put in the fund as bribe, Marcos initially refused to disclose her source’s identity, whom she said was from the House of Representatives.
However, Fariñas pushed through with his question, adding that Marcos’ allegation “puts a bad mark on all the members of Congress.” He even threatened to cite her in contempt and put her in detention if she refused to answer.
Marcos then consulted with her legal counsel, former Senate president Juan Ponce Enrile after asking for a short break, around 5 minutes.
Upon the resumption of the hearing, it was Deputy Speaker Miro Quimbo’s turn to ask Marcos and he pursued the same question as Fariñas – who was her source?
“For that, I apologize and withdraw my statement. It was my mere suspicion and given that the source is uncertain, I withdraw the accusation to the integrity and the honor of the House that a P100 million was circulated,” said Marcos. “‘Di po totoo ‘yun at ako po ay nagpapaumanhin kung nasaktan ang ibang miyembro ng ating Kongreso.”
Quimbo called Marcos’ allegation as “fake news” and added that Fariñas would be the “farthest person” that LP would be helping.
“We wanted to stay away from these proceedings, but obviously it’s something that we take to heart because Majority Leader Fariñas is the farthest person that the Liberal Party will help. He is the responsible person for decimating our number. From 130, we are now down to 27 today,” said Quimbo, eliciting laughter from the other lawmakers.
Noting how Marcos’ allegation caused “quite irretrievable” damage to former President Benigno Aquino III, Marcos apologized to Aquino.
“Once again, I would like to apologize. I have no notion of what was actually written up in the media and I decry the dragging in of the name of president Noynoy Aquno, who was my colleague in the House in the opposition for years and years,” she said.
“Ang pag-aakusa ng katiwalain ay ‘di na bago na sa pamilya ko. At nakikita naman natin na patuloy pa rin, kaya kailangan ipagtanggol ang pangalan at dignidad, hindi lamang ng Kongreso kundi isa sa amin dito,” she added.
In an exclusive phone interview with The Manila Times, Marcos made the allegation against the LP, citing that her source told her that the P100-million fund will be distributed if she would still boycott the hearing on July 25.
Sources: ( rappler.com , manilatimes.net )