Bongbong Marcos: House of Representatives' treatment of Imee, Ilocos 6 'cruel'

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 12) — Former Senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos, Jr. decried on Wednesday the detention of Ilocos Norte officers over the alleged misuse of ₱66 million in tobacco funds.

"I have never seen kind of very harsh treatment of these witnesses," Marcos told CNN Philippines' The Source, referring to the six detained local officials as the "Ilocos 6."

"I think it's entirely unnecessary and the word, I believe, is cruel," he added.

Marcos' sister, Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos, was subpoenaed by the House of Rperesentatives' Committee on Good Governance on May 29. She was a no-show in three hearings on a ₱66-million purchase of government vehicles using funds for tobacco farmers.

Related: House panel summons Imee Marcos, detains 6 provincial officers

House Committee on Good Government Chairman Johnny Pimentel even showed the media the room where Imee Marcos would be detained should she fail to show up at the next hearing.

Watch: Imee Marcos' possible detention area shown to the media

While the governor said she was willing to attend the hearing, she added her brother had advised against it. The next hearing on tobacco taxes is scheduled on July 25.

This prompted Pimentel on July 3 to say the former senator could be cited for contempt, adding he was "already causing undue interference."

The former senator Marcos even said that the move seemed to be "part of... some kind of personal campaign" or "political campaign."

The inquiry was initiated by House Majority Leader and Ilocos Norte 1st District Rep. Rudy Farinas, a former previous political ally of the Marcoses.

Marcos said that the so-called "Ilocos 6" were even members of his staff during his time as governor.

"Now they're languishing in this little room in the House of Representatives for no good reason as far as I can see, except that perhaps the members of the Committee did not like their answers," he said.

CNN Correspondent Joyce Ilas contributed to this report.