Now that former agriculture undersecretary Jocelyn (Joc Joc) Bolante is indefinitely detained for lying in the senate investigation of P728 million fertilizer scandal, Malacanang expresses “sadness” that the suspected criminal might not spend Christmas at home. Palace officials seem more concerned for the slick guy deported from US rather than for the Filipinos adversely affected by the corruption charges.
Deputy Presidential Spokeswoman Lorelei Fajardo is hoping something “good” comes out of the investigation. Her statement is wimpy. It suggests that Pres. Gloria M. Arroyo’s administration isn’t strong in seeking truth and justice in this case. The reason(s) is obvious.
Bolante has been accused of misusing fertilizer money for Pres. Arroyo’s election. Described as “bubbly” in jail, he outwardly takes the charges lightly as the nation is wearied waiting. It’s the kind of behavior that Filipinos usually see among accused government officials who are confident in lying and dismissive of the people’s suffering.
The “bubbly” guy in jail is the same person who tried to seek asylum in the America in a bid to avoid prosecution. Upon arrival from deportation, he ostensibly boarded an ambulance straight to St. Luke’s Medical Center from the airport for a two-week medical check up. As expected, the stay in the hospital suite yielded nothing emergently life-threatening.
If only to uplift the sagging expectation on the course of justice, the senate’s blue ribbon chair Sen. Richard Gordon said,
“Before we ordered the arrest of Mr. Bolante, the members of the Blue Ribbon committee held a caucus and we were all convinced that he had been giving us statements contradictory to the testimonies of resource persons and documents presented.”—Malaya (12/05/08, Lopez, JP)
Archbishop Oscar Cruz of Dagupan was more direct in his opinion about Bolante’s lies. Urging the senators to file perjury cases against Bolante, Archbishop Cruz asserted that ““no big intelligence is needed to know that Bolante is not telling the whole truth about the fertilizer fund scam – not only for his own sake but also to cover up for his Malacañang patron,” he said. —Manila Bulletin (12/05/08, Torregoza, H)
Archbishop Cruz’ opinion is shared by many Filipinos who doubt whether this investigation will end in the full disclosure of the crime and the punishment of the guilty. Exposed to endemic and escalating corruption, the public feebly watch the “zarzuela” as it proceeds in its lazy way. (Photo Credit: AP/Roque,Pat; villi.ingi) =0=
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