Gov. Imee Marcos, the eldest daughter of the late Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos, talks to reporters as she joins supporters in marching towards the Supreme Court for an overnight vigil Monday, Nov. 7, 2016 for the possible ruling on whether Marcos will be buried or not at the Heroes Cemetery in Manila, Philippines. The Philippine Supreme Court has set for Nov. 8 its decision after two postponements. AP/Bullit Marquez

Imee Marcos brings 'Ilocos 6' detention issue to SC
Rosette Adel (philstar.com) - July 13, 2017 - 8:40am

MANILA, Philippines — Ilocos Norte Gov. Imelda Josefa “Imee” Marcos and the six detained employees of the provincial government on Thursday filed a petition asking the Supreme Court to assume jurisdiction over the employees’ detention by the House of Representatives.

Marcos, co-petitioner of the detained employees known as the “Ilocos Six,” filed the petition for a writ of amparo before the high tribunal. The petition was filed against House Majority leader Rodolfo Fariñas, House Committee of the Committee on Good Government and Public Accountability chair Johnny Pimentel, and Sergeant-at-Arms of the House Roland Detabali.

According to the Supreme Court, the writ of amparo "is a remedy available to any person whose right to life, liberty and security is violated or threatened with violation by an unlawful act or omission of a public official or employee, or of a private individual or entity." It covers extralegal killings and enforced disappearances or threats thereof."

The governor said they are appealing for the SC to take juridisction of the question on the detention of the "Ilocos Six" because the House of Representatives has ignored its plea to the Court of Appeals, which has ordered the temporary release of the provincial government employees.

She said that they had earlier filed a petition for habeas corpus as well as petition for bail to free the detained employees.

“Ang mga kagalang-galang na congressman ay sabi ang Court of Appeals ay walang bisa,” Marcos said.

“Kaya ngayon pilit kaming pupunta sa Korte Suprema,” she added.

'Detainment of Ilocos 6 affects Ilocos Norte'

In a speech prior to the filing of the petition, Marcos also lamented how the detention of the 'Ilocos Six' has affected the operations of her provincial government. She said their detention has affected the provincial government’s agricultural, educational services as well as the local police force.

“Sabi nga kung may terorismo sa Marawi, mayroon namang hostage crisis sa Kongreso. Hinostage na ang buong finance ng Ilocos Norte,” Marcos said, comparing the detention of her staff to a nearly two-month-long armed conflict in Marawi City that has killed at least 500 people and caused the displacement of hundreds of thousands.

The six detained public employees are Bids and Awards Committee and Provincial and Planning Development Unit chair Pedro Agcaoili, Provincial Treasurer Josephine Calajate, accountant Edna Battulayan, Provincial Budget Officer Evangeline Tabulog, and Treasury Office employees Genedine Jambaro and Encarnacion Gaor.

They have been detained at the House of Representatives after being cited for contempt nearly two months ago.

Like her mother, Ilocos Norte Rep. Imelda Marcos, Imee cited the deteriorating health and old age of the Ilocos Six in her request to free the detainees.

The CA 4th Division earlier ordered the provisional release of the Ilocos Six, however, the members of the House of Representatives opposed the move.

House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez earlier slammed CA Associate Justices Stephen Cruz, Edwin Sorongon and Nina Antonino-Valenzuela and threatened to disbar them. The three magistrates were also summoned to attend the House panel’s hearing on July 25.

The House panel also released a subpoena against Imee for failing to attend the past four hearings into the alleged misuse of tobacco excise funds released to the province. She will be arrested if she skips the July 25 hearing.

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