Press Release
January 3, 2009

Gordon chides Bolante's inaction over 'fixers' in the DA

Independent Senator Richard J. Gordon has reprimanded former agriculture undersecretary Jocelyn Bolante, alleged architect of the P728-million fertilizer fund scam, for his apparent inaction over the "fixers" in the Department of Agriculture (DA).

Gordon, chairman of the Senate blue ribbon panel, said it was made clear by the meeting between Bolante and Paule that the former DA official was aware of the illegal operation in the department yet he did not take action to stop it.

"During the alleged meeting, Mr. Paule and other financiers complained to Mr. Bolante that they invested money but they did not get their money back, hence their request na pabawiin sila," he said.

"Mr. Bolante did not take any action. According to him, he only wrote a confidential report to then DA Secretary Luis Lorenzo because of the sensitive nature of the complaint. As a DA official, he should have had this complaint fully investigated," he added.

Gordon was referring to agriculture undersecretary Belinda Gonzales' disclosure that she was brought by Bolante to a meeting with Paule and at least nine others who complained they invested some amount but failed to get their investments back.

Gonzales made the disclosure in one of the hearings conducted by the Senate panel on the fertilizer fund scam.

Gordon stressed that if Bolante took any action to have the complaint investigated, it would have put a stop to the illegal operation in the DA.

"If he had the complaint investigated and took actions to stop the operation instead of merely writing a confidential report to Sec. Lorenzo, then the P728-million fertilizer fund scam would not have happened," he said.

"Eh kaso ang ginawa niya (Bolante), instead of having it investigated, pinabawi pa niya sila sa pamamagitan nitong fertilizer fund scam," he added.

News Latest News Feed