Press Release
December 4, 2008

Bolante to remain in detention until he tells the truth--Gordon

Former agriculture undersecretary Jocelyn Bolante will remain under arrest and detention at the Senate until he tells the truth behind his alleged involvement in the P728-million fertilizer fund program.

Independent Senator Richard J. Gordon, committee chair, said that unless the senators are convinced that Bolante is finally telling the truth or a case had been filed against him before the proper court, he would remain under arrest and confined at the Senate.

"Mr. Bolante will remain here at the Senate until he tells the truth or until a case for false testimony is filed against him," he said.

The Senate's arrest order against Bolante states that he will be detained at the Senate until he purges himself of contempt or until the Office of the Ombudsman or the Justice Department files a case against him for false testimony.

Bolante maintained that he had been telling the truth at the Senate hearing and that he would never be compelled to change his answers.

Gordon said he is already collating all testimonial and documentary evidence that would prove that Bolante was lying before his committee probing the fertilizer fund scam. These pieces of evidence will be included in a false testimony charges against him, he added.

The blue ribbon chairman said that one of Bolante's blatant lies is when he repeatedly testified he was not part of the implementation of the fertilizer program, only to be opposed by the Department of Agriculture's regional directors, who all said they received letters of instruction for the implementation of the program with Bolante's signature on it.

"It is his (Bolante) fault why he was arrested, because he does not want to tell the truth even if he is under oath. From the start, we can see he is guilty because, instead of facing the Senate investigation, he chose to leave and hide in the United States," he said.

"If he starts telling the truth, if he stops being evasive and decides to answer our questions frankly and in all honesty, then he would save himself from long detention here at the Senate," he added.

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