Press Release
October 4, 2008


Liberal President Senator Mar Roxas today sought the assistance of various US government agencies in recovering the P728-million fertilizer fund or parts of it believed to have been deposited in bank accounts and assets of former Agriculture Undersecretary Jocelyn "Joc-Joc" Bolante in the United States.

In separate letters to three US agencies involved in finding illicit funds, the Roxas asked "for an exhaustive and comprehensive financial investigation" on Bolante's bank accounts and assets in the US in line with the principles of truth and accountability in public offices.

"Sa pagdulog ko sa mga ahensiya ng Estados Unidos, kampante akong hindi nila papalampasin ang ganito kabigat na krimen," he said.

He addressed this appeal for assistance to, among others, Stuart Levey, Undersecretary, Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, Department of Treasury; Mark Sullivan, Director, Financial Crimes Division, Secret Service; and Matthew Friedrich, Acting Assistant Attorney-General, Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section, Criminal Division, Department of Justice.

"Ginagawa natin ang lahat para maibalik dito si Joc-Joc para harapin niya ang batas sa lalong madaling panahon. Apat na taon na nating hinihintay ito. Kailangan nating ipakita na walang taong makakalusot sa krimen laban sa mamamayang Pilipino," said Roxas.

He noted in the letters that although Bolante's 32 known bank accounts had already been frozen, "there is strong probability that a substantial amount of the missing public fund has already been deposited to foreign banks or otherwise used to acquire assets in the United States. I fear that the Filipino taxpayers' money, which has been illegally diverted to other uses, will never be traced and recovered," he said in the letters to the US agencies.

"Hindi biro ang halagang ito: P728 milyon na dapat sana'y napunta sa mga magsasaka. Hindi puwedeng mawala na lang ito na parang bula," he said.

Roxas noted that the Senate, on March 1, 2006, had already released its report finding Bolante to be the "main architect" of the P728-million fertilizer fund scam, and recommended the filing of criminal charges against him.

The US Court of Appeals 7th Circuit has already dismissed Bolante's petition for asylum in the US, and a final ruling affirming this is being awaited. Last September 18, Roxas wrote US Ambassador Kristie Kenney requesting for her assistance in ensuring Bolante's deportation directly to the Philippines once the US courts rule with finality against the asylum petition.

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