Press Release
December 1, 2008

Senate blue ribbon panel issues subpoena vs Paule

The Senate blue ribbon committee has issued a subpoena against a certain Jimmy Paule to explain his alleged involvement in the P728-million fertilizer fund scam purportedly engineered by former agriculture undersecretary Jocelyn Bolante.

Independent Senator Richard J. Gordon, committee chairman, has formally requested the National Bureau of Investigation and the Philippine National Police to locate and serve the subpoena against Paule whom Jose Barredo Jr. linked with Maritess Aytona at last week's hearing.

"We do not know yet if Paule is connected with Malacanang. I think we should get Paule. He would have to be subpoenaed," he said.

"Paule appears to be the financier of a fertilizer distributor who has alleged ties to Malacanang. He may know a lot about this. He appears to be the financier," he added.

Apart from Paule, the Senate blue ribbon committee has also issued a subpoena against Aytona whom Barredo has also accused to be Bolante's "runner" in the fertilizer fund scam.

According to Gordon, the committee however has yet to establish any link between Paule and Bolante but the former appears to be the bagman in the fund scam.

"Paule appears to be somebody who distributed the money. But I do not know yet if he is Bolante's man. That is why I want to summon him to appear in the next hearing," he added.

Gordon said Aytona's testimony is also very vital in the ongoing Senate investigation into the fund scam. "Barredo said Aytona orchestrated everything. She really has to come out and explain how they did it," he said.

The senator also disclosed that Aytona's lawyer sought a meeting with him last Thursday and he took the opportunity to convince Aytona that her testimony would be very valuable to the investigation.

"I told her that she has to attend the hearing so she can explain what really transpired. I want to ask her where the money came from, who they distributed it to and how were they able to enter easily into the offices of the recipients," he said.

Aytona failed to attend last Friday's hearing because she was rushed to the Philippine Heart Center in Quezon City because of high blood pressure problems.

Gordon said Aytona already sent word that she will attend the next hearing, set for Dec. 8, though with a different counsel. "I received a note from Aytona, assuring me that she intends to appear in the next hearing. But she will have a different lawyer," he said.

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