In contempt

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The House committee on good government and public accountability chaired by Rep. Johnny T. Pimentel (2nd District, Surigao del Sur) conducting this week a hearing on the alleged anomalous purchase of minicabs, buses and trucks amounting to P66.4 million by several officials and employees of the provincial government of Ilocos Norte using funds from the province’s tobacco excise tax collection share. Attending the hearing were Ilocos Norte legal officer Erme Labayog and board member Da Vinci Crisostomo (upper middle photo), and officials of the Commission on Audit and Department of Budget and Management (upper right photo).

The inquiry is based on House Resolution 882 filed by Majority Leader Rep. Rodolfo C. Farinas (left, upper left photo), Deputy Majority Leader Rep. Juan Pablo “Rimpy” P. Bondoc and Rep. Aurelio “Dong” D. Gonzales, Jr. (right, lower photo). The committee cited for contempt the officials and employees of the provincial government of Ilocos Norte for snubbing twice the panel’s invitation to shed light on the alleged anomaly.

Per Republic Act 7171, the excise tax collection share is for the self-reliance advancement of tobacco farmers. The purchases were allegedly made without public bidding.

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