Press Release
December 17, 2008

Transcript of Senator Richard J. Gordon's statement at the start of the Senate hearing on the fertilizer fund scam

The lawyer of Ms. Aytona, who made the connection between me and Ms. Aytona the first time that I met her a few weeks ago, was here earlier and he was again saying that he has already spoken with Ms. Aytona and that she promised to come last night but right now apparently she's still having second thoughts coming here. The committee will act on the continuous absence of Ms. Aytona and once the warrant of arrest is issued to her, I do not intend to bring her to the Senate where we are going to spend more money on witnesses who are trying to put the Senate into severe disrespect. And we will arrest her and put her into the Pasay jail. That is what we are going to do. As soon as I meet this afternoon with the committee, the majority, we will meet with them and discuss the case because she has repeatedly avoided. The same will be true with Leonicia Llarena. She has been invited a couple of times and confirmed the previous time and now again, if I'm not mistaken she has confirmed once again. And I have a text message from her lawyer and she says they are just around here some place taking their lunch and they will proceed here.. But if she doesn't come the same sanctions will be applied against her.

Jimmy Paule continues to be evasive, there are apparently five or six Jimmy Paules recorded under the NBI, some of them wanted for different cases. However, we are fast closing on the identification of this gentleman, if I can still call him a gentleman, obviously I just want to point out to everybody that when you're invited before a lawful hearing of the blue ribbon committee, or for that matter any committee of Congress, whether it be the House of Representatives or the Senate, it is important that you show up and that if you do not show up, you are being evasive, and if you're being evasive and don't show up in spite of your promises, that is a ground for contempt, and at the same time it is also reaffirming and reinforcing the fact that you are in flight, and flight as you know is a fundamental principle of law, it would mean that flight would be equated with guilt. They're saying that these people are important because their names have been mentioned several times as directly being involved here as financiers or runners or what have you. It is their chance to testify here not necessarily to clear their name because we are not a court of law here, we are an investigating committee here, but they should come out and show up because the crime that they are committing is not part of a criminal investigation but part of a legislative investigation which they are trying to evade, that could be termed as criminal.

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