MANILA, Philippines – Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez lambasted three Court of Appeals justices over their order for him to justify the detention of six Ilocos Norte local executives at the House of Representatives.
“That’s gross ignorance of the law. Mga gago ‘yang tatlong justices na ‘yan [Those justices are stupid],” Alvarez told reporters in a text message when asked to react to a show-cause order by the CA’s Special Fourth Division requiring him and the House sergeant-at-arms to submit an explanation why they should not be cited in contempt for defying the appellate court’s order to present the six employees of the provincial government before it and eventually release them last week.
The officials, for whom Gov. Imee Marcos has shown solidarity, have been called the “Ilocos 6.”
The 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 during its probe into the alleged misuse by the provincial government of P66.45 million in tobacco funds. The tobacco funds were used by the local government to buy motor vehicles.
Governor Marcos had earlier lamented that sheer “politics” was behind the House inquiry and the harassment of the Ilocos 6, noting that it was a ranking House leader, Rep. Rudy Fariñas, who has been pushing the congressional inquiry.
Fariñas is a key ally of Speaker Alvarez.
The CA’s show cause order was also addressed to House sergeant-at-arms retired Lt. Gen. Roland M. Detabali.