Press Release
November 10, 2008


Liberal President Senator Mar Roxas said the Senate plenary has upheld a move to reopen the P728-million fertilizer fund probe, in order to include a long-awaited testimony from former DA Usec. Jocelyn "Joc-Joc" Bolante.

A hearing by the Blue Ribbon Committee has already been scheduled for this Thursday, November 13.

"Ang pinamakahalaga rito ay na lumabas na ang katotohanan. Kailangan nang mabigyang-hustisya ang ating mga magsasaka at mga taong bayan. Gagawin ng Senado ang lahat para lumabas ang ebidensya laban sa mga responsable sa kalokohang ito (The most important thing here is for the truth to come out. We have to give justice to the farmers and the rest of our people. We in the Senate will do everything for evidence to come out against those responsible for this mess)," Roxas said.

The decision to push through with the Thursday hearing was reached after a two-hour caucus during today's session. The senators also agreed not to hold Bolante at the Senate due to his health problems.

Earlier, the Senate committee on rules acted on Roxas' Senate Resolutions No. 637, inquiring on the status of the arrest order against Bolante issued in the 13th Congress, and No. 702, calling for the reopening of the fertilizer fund probe. The two resolutions allowed the Senate to tackle the issue immediately, with its approval by the Senate plenary.

The Ilonggo senator stressed the need for the Senate to act on the case because of the Ombudsman's seeming indifference to the pending complaints against Bolante, particularly after the dismissal of charges filed by the late Marlene Esperat against Bolante for his part in another scam involving P432-million.

"Hinding-hindi natin papabayaang upuan ng Ombudsman itong kaso, o na ma-dismiss kagaya ng kaso ni Marlene Esperat laban kay Bolante. Nakakainis at nakakagalit itong ginawa ng Ombudsman. Nagpapakita ng pagkiling nila sa pagproteksyon, sa pag-whitewash nitong kasong ito (We will not let the Ombudsman sit on this case, or have it dismissed as they did with Marlene Esperat's case against Bolante. It's annoying and infuriating that the Ombudsman did that. It shows the protection of special interests and whitewashing of the case)," he said.

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