Archive for the ‘Fertilizer scam’ Category

Bolante in jail, the “zarzuela” continues

December 4, 2008

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=

RELATED BLOGS: Bolante’s medical drama continues, but doctors say “telling the truth is therapeutic.” Posted by mesiamd at 11/08/2008;Accused of Plunder, Jocjoc Bolante, Returns from US a Deportee Posted by andygimpaya at 10/29/2008; “Hospital: a vacation house or a sanctuary for malingerers?”Posted by mesiamd at 10/29/2008.

Are The Filipinos Simply Inure?

November 26, 2008

My colleague’s post (Me Barko Na Naman Na Lumubog”, 11/26/08) provoked in me a different reaction. It made me think of the usual police alibi, “We cannot solve the case because there are no witnesses”. The next murder will come and the said excuse will be cited but with a different spin, “We are still investigating the case”.

There is a lawyer that said that unlike in bus accidents where passengers died, there is yet a ship captain or ship owner that has been convicted of the case “homicide due to reckless imprudence”. Maybe that is why Sulpicio maritime incidents continued for a very long time.

I wonder if the Camarines Sur killings will be solved and the perpetrators brought to justice. I am watching. But I do not know if the people of Camarines Sur is watching and will do something. Or if they will learn the lesson.

If the recent murders in Camarines Sur are not solved (like the murder of the market administrator of Naga City or the mediaman that was gunned down in a town north of Naga City, it will probably be the criminals who will learn the lesson–that they can get away with murder in Camarines Sur. If so, I assure you it will happen again and again. I have seen it here in Mindanao where violence just lurks below the surface. Time might come when contending forces will simply settle matters with a bullet like what is prevalent here.

Over the years I have seen Filipinos becoming more inure. The Nani Perez case was dismissed (while it had a money trail and a witness). Where is the outrage? The first couple is obviously a beneficiary of the ZTE-NBN deal. Where is the outrage? Documented impeachment complaints just get thrown out like garbage and there is also no outrage. There was a documented fertilizer scam which was a means to buy congressmen’s support. Where is the outrage? A president is caught lying and cheating and trying to steal the election. That president is still safely ensconced in her throne.

Life just seem to go on and on.

I think Henry Sy should be given a gold medal by the crooks. For keeping the people entertained and content without any controversy and for free through his malls.

Bolante’s medical drama continues, but doctors say “telling the truth is therapeutic.”

November 8, 2008

When Jocelyn “Jocjoc” Bolante stepped out of the airport after he was deported back to the Philippines from USA, the former agricultural undersecretary went straight to the St. Luke’s Medical Center (SLMC) in an ambulance to start the tale of his illness. It is the familiar props of accused felons and shady characters which blur the distinctions between malingering and actual illness.

For sure, as I suggested in an old blog, Bolante is most likely suffering from health conditions that do not need a protracted “vacation” in a hospital suite. There are sicker patients out there who need his bed and people are tired of the drama which puts the medical profession’s credibility in a precarious balance.

In spite of the high-brow medical jargon SMLC’s Dr. Romeo Saavedra tells the press, Bolante appears in no immediate danger to die. His medical tests are long-drawn(running up to two weeks,) and sluggishly elaborate, belaboring the public to harbor doubts. One thing is sure though— Bolante needs to quickly come out of the hospital and answer the allegations surrounding the misuse of P232 million for fertilizer in 2003.

The murder of Marlene Esparat, the journalist-complainant of the case remains unsolved. And another scandal links Bolante to the P728 million misuse of money allegedly distributed to help Pres.Gloria M. Arroyo in her reelection. Think of the poor helpless farmers who have been adversely affected because government officials are neglectful and corrupt.

According to Senate Pres. Manuel Villar, Jr, Bolante is still under arrest and he sums up by saying “You know it is hard for us who are not doctors to talk about (Bolante’s condition) because even if he has no serious (health problem), we do not want to be blamed for whatever might happen to him.”

Rightfully, doctors of the Health Alliance for Democracy (HEAD) added Bolante could heal himself by telling the truth on the fertilizer fund scam. “Truth-telling is therapeutic,” says HEAD’s general secretary Dr. Geneve Rivera. Philstar (11/08/08, Punay, E.) Who will disagree? (Photo Credit: Icarusrising; mindmanifesting)=0=

RELATED BLOGS:Hospital: a vacation house or a sanctuary for malingerers?” Posted by mesiamd at 10/29/2008; “Accused of Plunder, Jocjoc Bolante, Returns from US a Deportee’ (10/29/08, Gimpaya, A)

UPDATE: After a long-drawn stay in the hospital (12 days confined in a suite as of November 10, 2008) doctors at St. Luke’s Medical Center released Jocelyn Bolante with a clean bill of health. This is what the public expects when the suspiciom is raised that felons and shady characters seek hospitals as vacation houses and malingerer’s sanctuary.