Press Release
December 2, 2008

Bolante's 'lost passport' story another stain to his credibility--Gordon

Independent Senator Richard J. Gordon has seen another stain in the credibility of former agricultural undersecretary Jocelyn Bolante with the latter's story on his lost passport.

The chairman of the Senate blue ribbon committee said Bolante revealed during the panel's second hearing on the P728-million fertilizer fund scam that he had lost his passport when he came back to the country last October 28 but did not have the time to report its loss, to which Gordon said was too feeble an excuse considering that a passport is a pertinent credential.

"If one loses his passport one ought to right away go out and issue a letter to the DFA (Department of Foreign Affairs) and say I have lost my passport, so that they would know," Gordon said.

During the Senate blue ribbon committee's third hearing, Bolante said the moment he lost his passport he told his lawyer to send a letter to DFA to inform them of the incident.

But Gordon read him a certification from the passport division of the DFA, which states that passport number ZZ130689 was issued to Bolante and that the holder of the said passport has not reported its loss to the DFA in accordance with the procedure for the replacement of lost and stolen passports.

"Passport number ZZ130689 has not been cancelled by the department there being no affidavit of loss or police report that has been filed in accordance with the procedure for cancellation of lost and stolen passport. No new passport has been issued to Jocelyn Bolante," the certification read.

Bolante explained that reporting the loss of his passport was not his priority since he and his lawyers had to rush a lot of things in connection to a pending complaint in the Office of the Ombudsman, his case before the Court of Appeals, and the investigations at the Senate and House of Representatives that he had to attend to.

However, Gordon said that the loss of Bolante's passport and the long time he waited before he would take any action for it gave the committee an impression that he was either trying to hide where he went before he came back to the country, or he only said that he lost his passport but would later use it to go out of the country at his convenience.

"He may say he lost his passport but the DFA doesn't have any notice of cancellation of lost passport, he can still use the passport. It stains his credibility because he is supposed to be responsible for his credentials," he said.

"I just want to point out that, again, that is a very, very big flaw on the part of Mr. Bolante," he added.

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