Imee: ₱57M part of annual investment plan

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Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos speaks at the Kapihan sa Manila Bay.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 9) — Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos defended the ₱57 million lump sum fund set aside by the provincial government in a House probe, Wednesday.

The amount was allotted to a program called P-IMEE or Programang Ikauuland ng Mamamayan Ekonomiya at Ekolohiya.

Ilocos Norte District 1 Representative Rodolfo Farinas, a former ally of the Marcos family, said it was an "undue delegation of legislative powers," and asked who will decide on how the amount will be spent.

Marcos said it was included in the province's the Annual Investment Plan (AIP).

"Ibbreakdown pa sa (It will be broken down into) project statements … napakarami pang proseso bago mapinal yan (It is still a long process before it will be finalized)," Imee said.

Wednesday's hearing is part of the House Committee on Good Government and Public Accountability's probe on the alleged ₱66-million anomalous purchase of vehicles.

In the hearing, the House panel also approved a motion to issue a show cause order on all Ilocos Norte provincial board members to explain why they should not be held in contempt.

This was after the provincial board signed a resolution saying the House committee intimidated and coerced provincial officials to speak during prior hearings, while praising the so-called Ilocos 6 for "following the law."

If members of the provincial board do not respond to the show-cause order, they risk facing detention in the Batasang Pambansa - like the Ilocos 6.

The Ilocos 6 refers to the six Ilocos Norte officials, who were cited in contempt and detained at the Batasang Pambansa for 55 days for refusing to answer the questions of congressmen.

They were also involved in the alleged misuse of tobacco funds.

READ: Imee Marcos brings 'Ilocos 6' detention case to SC

The Ilocos Norte provincial board also earlier declared Farinas persona non grata in his own province due to his performance in the House probe.

"Ginagawa ko yung trabaho ko, ako yung ginagawa nyong demonyo sa probinsya natin. Samantalang itong gumagawa ng masama, sila pinupuri niyo," Farinas said.

[Translation: I'm just doing my job, and yet I am being demonized in our province. Those who are actually doing bad are being commended.]

Marcos, with her mother Imelda and brother Bongbong, attended the continuation of the House probe, along with Senator Juan Ponce Enrile who served as the governor's legal counsel.

Imelda is currently Ilocos Norte's 2nd district representative.

CNN Philippines' Joyce Ilas contributed to this report.