The  political game of thrones between Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos and House Majority Leader and Ilocos Norte 1st district Rep Rodolfo Farinas has now intensified into a clash of the titans between the House of Representatives and the Supreme Court.

The Lower House today opened to media the proposed detention faciltiies for Marcos as well as CA 4th division Justices Stephen Cruz,  Edwin Sorongon and Nina Antonino-Valenzuela .

Both are located at the 3rd floor of the Plenary hall building. Getting to Marcos’ detention area will mean passing through 3 checkpoints, first at stair case, 2nd at the rooftop entrance and lastly just before the reception room.

Marcos’ detention area is an extension office of the Sergent At Arms. it has a receiving room and its own toilet. it is now being fixed to have its own shower.

Marcos’ would be detention room would be windowless office which now has a round table as well as a cot.

on the otehr end of the 3rd floor of the House is the former office of the Congressional Spouses Foundation. it has its own receiving room, a bedroom and its own toilet and bath.

the receiving room has a window and it is not as secure as Marcos’s proposed detention room.

House Committee on Good Government Chairman Johnny Pimentel, whose panel is probing Marcos’a alleged misuse of provincial excise tax funds to purchase vehicles without a public bidding, explained that the committee will be procuring a bed for Marcos. “as you can see it’s  habitable it is actually very comfortable for a detention room nakita naman niyo merong receiving room may private room the CR toilet and bath.  she can bring her own bed malaki ito.”

Pimentel says the Marcos detention area would be about 80 square meters. ” this should be about im not very sure mga 80 square meters easily  eto 30 square meters then another 30  id say mga 70-80 square meters plus toilet and bath pa furniture siguro na hindi maybe she can bring her own bed if she wants”

Sergeant at Arms Roland Detabali explained that just like the previous detainees of the House, Marcos will be allowed to bring food and cellphones, she will have TV, internet, wifi. Visitors are allowed from 8am to 5pm upon the discretion of deteainee. Detabali explained that recently they even allowed one of the so-called Ilocos 6 to have a birthday party in the House. “basically we’re talking gusto nila magbirthdayaaprty inaayos rin namin whatever wex an give them. inspection and check natin kung yung kailangan na control ng pagpasok ng number of visitors and of course kung gusto ng detainees.” Marcos will also be free to walk around escorted for her exercise.

Pimentel clarified that the committe has not yet issue a warrant for Marcos’ arrest. showing the detention area to media was a response to Marcos’ statement that she won’t attend the hearing.  Marcos has been issued a subpoena to attend the July 25 hearing. if  she disobeys that, she will be issued a show cause order to say why she should not be held in contempt. after that, a warrant for her arrest will be coming next.

Pimentel asked Marcos to cooperate so these facilities do not have to be used. “m appelaing eto nakikiusap kami kung maari si gov imee marcos para di tayo umabot sa puntong mag issue ng warrant of arrest”

Pimentel himself points out that  that Marcos’ testimony is both central and crucial it could end the investigation”di natin maclose ang hearing because the main personality is gov imee  marcos…. she was the one who approevdthe voucehre she was the one who approved the purchase request she was the one who approved the checks so paano natin masasara itong hearing na ito di pa natin nakakausap ang ehad of agency. pwede na kung mag attend si gov imee malaang matatapos na itong hearing na ito the committee report will be prepared na”

Pimentel took the opportunity to deny that politics is behind the moves of the Lower House, pointing out they are investigating an allegation of corruption. :walang pulitika

baka nakalimutan ng publiko may anomalya na nangyari maybe we have forgotten …there was illegal use of govt funds which was not use for its purpose”

Pimentel added, “may anomalya na nangyari pulitika ang pinapasok ng media pero may nakakalimutan natin may nilabag na batas ibig ba sabihin dahil ikaw isang marcos you are above the law ibig ba sabihin kung ikaw marcos exempted ka na sa batas”

should the House succeed in detaining Marcos, it will be the first time since they feld Malacanang that a Marcos will be detained. the significance is not lost on Pimentel. “powerful  we have seen them flee the country nakita na po natin you know very weell marcoses are very powerful 2 of them are in power the brother is a former senator sana naman justcie will prevail

may nawalang pera sa kaban ng bayan we are forgetting the issue”

Pimentel concedes, detaining Marcos will be a tough job. “we know very well were talking about not an ordinary person but an imcumbent governor a marcos at that  we know how powerful the marcoses are it would be more difficult arrest gov imee macros the procedure is the sgt at arms who will serve the warrant with the support of the PNP and the military authorities.”

The PNP and the AFP are both under the executive branch led by President Duterte, who counts both Marcos and Farinas as allies. Duterte has so far kept mum on the issue.

But the governor is not the only one who risks detention. Former Senator Bongbong Marcos may also be held in contempt and haled to court for advising the governor to skip the hearing. Imee Marcos herself revealed her brother’s advice.

Pimentel points out this is analogous to senator leila de lima’s advice to ronnie dayan to skip the house probe on the narcotics trade at the state pentitentiary. 

de Lima has been slapped an ethics complaint as well as a case before the QC RTC.

“he is liable article 6 and sec 21 of the constitution clearly mandates the senate and the congress to codnuct inquiries in aid of legislation… the rules of procedure governing inquiries in aid of legsilation letter if any person can be cited for contemtpt if hes causing undue interference… bongbong macros is clearly interfering already ano sabi ni giov imee marcos i really want to cooeprate but my brother has advised me not to attend. we will discuss that on july 25 again i appeal to bongbong marcos not to advise anymore”

Pimentel even said the siblings can share the same detention area.

The CA justices are in the crosshairs of the House after they granted the petition for habeas corpus by the so-called Ilocos Norte 6—the provincial officials now detained by the House for refusing to answer questions on the alleged anomaly. They are Pedro Agcaoili, Provincial Planning and Development Office chairman; Josephine Calajate, provincial treasurer; Eden Battulayan, Encarnacion Gaor and Genedine Jambaro, all Provincial Treasurer’s Office staff; and Evangeline Tabulog, provincial budget officer.

when the House refused to release them, the CA went after Detabali, which in turn prompted Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez to call the justices idiots. the committee also voted to issue a show cause order against them so they can explain why they should not be cited for contempt. should they be cited for contempt, they like the 6, will be detained, and that’s why there is a detention center being readied for them.

over the weekend, Alvarez floated the idea of impeaching Chief Justice Lourdes Sereno  because she allegedly ordered the CA justices to disobey the show cause order. Weeks ago, Sereno and CA Presiding Justice Andres Reyes urged the House to withdraw the show cause order and instead seek remedies before the Supreme Court. sought for comment, Supreme Court Spokesperson Ted Te referred ABS-CBN to Sereno’s and Reyes’ earlier statement.

Pimentel says he would support such an impeachment but they first have to confirm if Sereno did issue sucn an order. “thats why we have to verify the statement we dont really know if thats true that cj sereno issued a statement rodering the CA justices to defy the show cause order because of this speaker alvarez issued a statement also that we might file an impeacjment complaint against cj sereno if the speaker will do that i fully support the move of the speaker”

The fight between Marcos and Farinas has drawn criticisms because of the way the House has engaged the judiciary, a co-equal branch of government under the 1987 constitution.

Pimentel however explained it was the Judiciary who first drew blood, because they allegedly disrespected the authority of the House. “doon nga nagsimula they should have respected our being co equal the power of contempt is not subject to judical review there is jurisprudence there were 2 cases decided by the SC. in 2 cases the SC decided to uphold the power of contempt of congress doon nagsimula because ang CA nagsissue ng release order which we do not recognize kaya nga tayo co equal papakialaman mo kami dito. we have our own rules doon nagsimula ang prublema dapat inuphold nila power of contempt dineny nila petition for writ of habeas corpus”

Pimentel however revealed that the House has not yet issued the show cause order for the CA justices. Pimentel says Detabali has sought the inhibition of the CA justices. if the justices inhibit, then they will forego the show cause order. “eto po ang situation ngayon i already sigend the show cause order to the COA justices but thiere is a motion fiede by general detabali june 29 a motion for inhibition for justice stephen cruz and nina valenzuela

because of the motion for inhibition we are holding in abeyance the show cause order

pinapainhibit po natin sila if they will not inhbit we will issue the how cause order”

Congress is currently on recess and will resume sessions on July 24, the day President Duterte delivers his 2nd State of the Nation Address.