FORMER Senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. has shrugged off threats of arrest by the House of Representatives over his advice to his older sister, Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos, not to attend a committee probe into the alleged anomalous use of the tobacco excise tax.

"Well. We've all been threatened with arrest," he told reporters at the sidelines of the Philippine Constitution Association (Philconsa) meeting in Makati City Thursday evening.

Imee earlier said she will not attend the July 25 inquiry of the House committee on good government and public accountability into Ilocos province's P66.45 million worth purchase of vehicles allegedly bought through the use of the province's tobacco excise funds as advised by his younger brother, as she might get arrested.

The committee has so far detained six officials of Ilocos Norte for contempt due to their failure to cooperate with the ongoing probe.

Surigao del Sur Representative Johnny Pimentel, chair of the committee, has threatened Imee of arrest if she will snub anew the subpoena issued by the panel.

Pimentel's panel had sent an invitation to the governor three times but all were ignored by the governor.

Pimentel said that the former senator could be charged for obstruction of justice over his advice to his sister not to attend the hearing.

Pimentel, chair of the committee has likened Marcos' advice to Imee to detained Senator de Lima's advice to her former bodyguard Ronnie Dayan not to attend the House probe into the proliferation of the illegal drug trading in the national penitentiary last year, where she was charged with violation of Article 150 of the Revised Penal Code (disobedience to summons).

When asked if he and his sister already discussed the issue, Marcos said, "Siyempre pinag-usapan namin."

He however refused to disclose details of their conversation.

The ongoing probe into the alleged anomalies involving the tobacco funds in Ilocos Norte is upon the insistence of House Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas, a political rival of the Marcoses in Ilocos Norte.

Last Tuesday, June 27, Fariñas was declared persona non grata in his own province by the Ilocos Provincial Board over the continued detention of the "Ilocos 6". (SunStar Philippines)