Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos on Wednesday referenced the popular HBO series Game of Thrones to describe her desire to forge peace with her political rival, Ilocos Norte Representative and House Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas.
Fariñas filed House Resolution 882, which asked the House of Representatives Committee on Good Government to look into how P66.4 million from the provincial excise tax funds were used to purchases buses and mini-trucks through cash advances instead of public biddings.
Marcos attended the congressional inquiry on Tuesday after skipping the hearings twice.
She said that while the inquiry is "all about the 2019 political plans," she is still hopeful "that a peaceful negotiation will be made."
"Ang layo layo pa ng eleksyon, sa totoo lang. Kung Game of Thrones, the North remembers. Wag naman sanang Winter is Coming. Nakaka-nerbyos naman yung ganun," she said, referencing the popular television show.
"Inaasahan ko na magagawan ng paraan at kung hindi naman politika ito, tutulong ako sa lahat ng aking kaalaman na makakagawa tayo ng mas magagandang batas at mas magagandang proseso," she added in an interview with ANC's Headstart.
Marcos has accused Fariñas of using the inquiry to dominate local politics.
In 2019, Marcos and Fariñas will be constitutionally barred from seeking reelection in their current offices, leaving them to pursue other positions or members of their families to pursue their current positions. Fariñas' daughter Ria and Marcos’ son Matthew are incumbent provincial board members and rumored to be possible gubernatorial candidates.
Earlier this month, Marcos filed before the Supreme Court an omnibus petition seeking liberty for 6 provincial employees detained by the House, an order “enjoining and prohibiting” the conduct of the House investigation, and the issuance of the writ of amparo or protection.
The tribunal last week deferred action on Marcos' petition.
She said although the employees had been released, rendering that part of the petition moot and academic, she is still hoping that the high tribunal will resolve their other pleas.
"It’s important na ma-define yung constitutional mandates tungkol sa legal legislative inquiries. They have their own rules…Nobody’s questioning the powers of Congress to inquire in aid of legislation, but they have to abide rin siyempre by the rules of the Constitution, by the mandates of their own internal rules, as well as the rights of the witnesses," she said.
Marcos said while the House's right to detain is inherent in the right to cite in contempt, holding the employees for 2 months was just too much.
"Grabe naman, dalawang buwan? Terible naman at di naman namin asahan kasi sa contempt, ilang araw lang naman yung sa indirect contempt at dini dispute pa namin na contempt talaga yun kasi sumagot naman; di lang masagot yung sagot na gusto nila," she said.
Marcos also cried foul over the decision of a House leader to present to the media her supposed detention room had she skipped Tuesday's probe.
"It gives yung impression na kung yung iba, pre-jailed ang sinasabi sa akin. Yung iba, nagrereklamo, 'Hala, pre-judged na ako.' Ako, pre-jailed, pinakita pa yung kulungan, may matching tejeras, meron pang nakatuping banig," she said.
"Pinapakita pa, ikukulong diyan hindi lang si Imee; ikukulong din yung Court of Appeals justice, ikukulong si Bongbong kasi si Bongbong din daw ay nag-a-advise. Siyempre, kinakabahan yung kapatid ko."
"Yung ganiyang klaseng pakita sa media, iba na yung impression. Lahat talaga nangangamba. So everyone was warning me, wag kang pupunta," she said.
Marcos said threats to abolish the Court of Appeals and to impeach Chief Justice Sereno also fueled her fear of attending the House investigation.
"Sino bang hindi kakabahan niyan eh nakakatakot? Kami, we respect the three separate branches of government. They are co-equal, but they should also be respectful of each other," she said.