MANILA -- The House Committee on Good Government and Public Accountability on Monday cited in contempt Mark Chua, a Singaporean businessman and long-time boyfriend of Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos, for repeatedly snubbing the probe on the alleged tobacco funds misuse of the provincial government.

Committee chair Johnny Pimentel said Chua was responsible for the purchase transactions of motor vehicles from Granstar Motors and Industrial Corporation.

Siya ang nag-transact. Siya ang gumawa ng kalokohan na ito. (He was the one who transacted with (Granstar). He started this mischief.),” Pimentel said in a press conference.

Granstar Motors was the supplier of the 40 mini cabs, five buses and 70 Foton mini cabs purchased by the Ilocos Norte Government allegedly through cash advances amounting to PHP66.45 million using the tobacco excise tax collection share of farmers in the province.

Aside from Chua, the committee also issued a contempt citation to Granstar Motors vice-president for operations Gilbert Suribas and Chua’s personal secretary, Aileen Mendoza.

Pimentel said his committee has already established that there are anomalous transactions in the purchase of motor vehicles that violated the provisions in Republic Act No.7171 (An Act to Promote the Development of the Farmer in the Virginia Tobacco Producing Provinces), RA 9184 (Government Procurement Reform Act), and COA Circular 97-002 (on Cash Advance).

“We have already established that there are highly anomalous transactions made with the province of Ilocos Norte which is very disadvantageous to the government,” Pimentel said. (PNA)