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PIA Press Release
2008/11/11

Palace reiterates non-intervention stance in fertilizer fund scam probe

Manila (11 November) -- Malacanang reiterated its usual stand of not intervening in any investigations on the P728-million fertilizer fund scam which allegedly involves former Agriculture Undersecretary Jocelyn "Joc-Joc" Bolante.

Press Secretary Jesus Dureza said the Palace is leaving the alleged fertilizer fund scam issue to the Senate "where it properly belongs."

"The Palace has always made it very clear that we want truth to come out, we will not intervene at all," Dureza said, as he stressed that Malacanang is not involved in any of these irregularities.

He pointed out that the Palace is not only ready on whatever Bolante will say before the Senate hearing, but, is in fact, "encouraging that story will have some kind of a closure to let the truth to come out."

"Let us leave this matter to the Senate to resolve," he said, adding that it is necessary for the Filipino people and the nation to know where the government funds went and if it was not really properly used.

But, he said, the proper forum is still the Ombudsman wherein the evidence will be looked closely and the basis will have to be established.

"Let those responsible be accountable before the courts of law," he added.

The Senate rules committee has decided to endorse the re-opening of the P728-million fertilizer fund scam investigation.

Sen. Francis Pangilinan said the committee saw the need to refer the re-investigation of the multi-million fertilizer fund to the Blue Ribbon committee with Bolante's continued defiance to appear before the Senate.

"The consensus of the committee is to continue with the investigation of the Bolante case. The Blue Ribbon will take cognizance of the issue and proceed with the investigation," Pangilinan said.

He also noted the committee report submitted during the 13th Congress that the probe on the fertilizer scam will not end until Bolante, the alleged brains and chief implementor of the scam, "reveals the truth behind the fertilizer scam."

The decision was made upon learning that Bolante has been allowed to leave the Saint Luke's Medical Center.

Bolante was suspected to be the mastermind behind the P728 million fertilizer scam. (PNA) [top]

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