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From ‘Architect’ To Senate Detainee

December 4, 2008


The jig is up for Jocelyn ‘Joc Joc’ Bolante.

He’s back in detention at the Senate after the blue ribbon committee’s patience finally wore out.

In a sense the alleged fertilizer fund scam’s alleged architect is caught in a pincer squeeze from the Senate panel now chaired by Senator Richard Gordon and the House Committee on Agriculture whose chairman, Representative Abraham ‘Baham’ Mitra laments how the Department of Agriculture,which his well-remembered dad, the late former Speaker Ramon Mitra once headed, has seen it public image damaged, perhaps irreparably.

“We must craft remedial legislation to prevent a repeat of this anomaly which has grossly tainted the faith of Filipino farmers in the Department,” the young Mitra stresses.

Despite Bolante’s skills at serving bola-bola the Senate and House hearings (which Senator Ed Angara claimed were no longer needed) have laid bare how the fertilizer fund scam was operated in much the same way criminal syndicates launder money: through supposed “project proponents” with the monies intended for farmer-beneficiaries “downloaded by field personnel.”
Scores of congressmen listed in Bolante’s self-made list have either denied knowledge of their fund allotments or of having received such disbursements.

The only bright spot this writer can see so far is the newly announced proposal of Bukidnon Rep. Teofisto ‘TG’ Guingona III for the enactment of an Impoundment Control Law which will prevent a siutting president from using monies in a re-enacted nudget as a giant pork barrel to spend in whatever way he or she pleases.

Guingona revealed a pattern showing the current administration appars to be deelibersating re-enacting thew national budget to generate huge savings that in turn become a huge contingency fund for the Executive.

Now on the wanted list and key missing links in the case are Mr. Bolante’s alleged ‘facilitator’ and ‘bag man’: Maritess Aytona and Jimmy Paule.

Former Budget Secretary Emilia Boncodin who is battling kidney disease, rose from her sickbed to decry how Bolante “re-aligned the fertilizer fund allotments without authority.”

Even Joc Joc’s claim that he had lost his passport has been exposed as a lie.

The former agriculture secretary is nearly neck deep in the quicksand of his own creation with the Office of the Ombudsman the only remaining entity which appears unconvinced that there is prima facie evidence to prosecute him.

Public impatience with the well-connected head of that anti-graft office is wearing thin with calls for the impeachment of the constitutional officer growing louder.

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