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Ghost projects? Imee Marcos says Fariñas present in truck turnover

TUGUEGARAO CITY, Philippines- Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos on Friday, July 14, released photos of the supposed turnover of Foton mini trucks which Representative Rudy Fariñas alleged to be “ghost projects.”

In a Facebook post, the embattled governor said, “Congressman Farinas is saying these are ghost projects. Kayo na lang po ang humusga. (Let you be the judge.)”

The photos showed Marcos was joined by Fariñas in the distribution of the Foton Forland mini-trucks to recipient barangays.

Marcos did not provide additional details as to when and where the photo was taken.

Fariñas earlier alleged that the trucks purchased through the cash advance of Marcos were never delivered to the province of Ilocos Norte.

“But there was not a single Foton Mini Truck delivered to the Province of Ilocos Norte. This is a clear falsification of public documents and ghost delivery of 70 Foton Mini Trucks,” Fariñas said.

Fariñas leads the probe of the House committee on good governance and public accountability on purchases of 40 mini-cabs, 5 secondhand buses, and 70 mini-trucks from 2011 to 2012 using P66.45 million in tobacco funds.

He said the use of the tobacco funds for said projects was illegal under the Republic Act 7171, which mandated that the tax on Virginia cigarettes states that the excise tax should only be used for livelihood projects and infrastructure projects for tobacco farmers’ benefit.

‘I was invited’

Reacting to the photos, Fariñas, in a text message to reporters, admitted he was “invited during the distribution” and “can attest that they were given to barangay captains.”

This was contrary to his earlier statements that the trucks were not distributed.

He, however, clarified that he did not know that those trucks were purchased using the tobacco funds; through cash advances; and without public bidding.

He added that had he known that the price of each truck was P465,000, it would have shocked him since he distributed and purchased multicabs like those shown in the released photos at only P180,000 each. Northernforum.net

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