Lawyer: Ex-DA chief may link Arroyo to fertilizer fund scam
GMANews.TV - Thursday, July 8
The former Department of Agriculture secretary who fled the country four years ago may implicate former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in the alleged misuse of multi-million fertilizer funds in 2004, a lawyer claimed on Thursday.
Lorenzo was the superior of former Agriculture undersecretary Jocelyn "Joc-Joc" Bolante, whom the Senate blue ribbon committee charged for plunder in connection with the scam. The case is pending before the Office of the Ombudsman. (See: Senate seeks plunder charges vs Joc-Joc Bolante, 8 others)
Bolante, known to be close to former First Gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo, allegedly used the P728-million fertilizer funds to bankroll the 2004 campaign of Mrs. Arroyo. He has since denied committing any anomaly and had cleared the former First Couple of any involvement in the scandal.
On Thursday, Roque said that because Bolante had refused to divulge his knowledge of the scandal, maybe Lorenzo can spill the beans.
"Kung gusto mo linisin ang pangalan mo, ilantad mo ang katotohanan. Hindi puwedeng idaan sa political contribution (If you want to clear your name, you need to tell the truth. You can't just make a political contribution," Roque said, referring to the P20-million campaign contribution of Lorenzo's brother, Martin, to the Aquino presidential campaign this year.
"Nakatingin ang bayan kung ang P20 million ay makakabili ng immunity, o despite the P20 million, totoo ang sinasabi na walang reconciliation without justice. (The public is watching whether P20 million can buy impunity, or despite the P20 million, he will fulfill his promise that there can be no reconciliation without justice)," Roque added.
Is this going to be an acid test on how sincere/resolute P-Noy is in his promises to the Filipino people? Your opinions, please. Thank you.