You Can Run, But Not For Long

US court denies Bolante's petition for political asylum

Former agriculture undersecretary Jocelyn "Joc-joc" Bolante has been denied his petition for asylum by the United States Court of Appeals, information reaching abs-cbnNEWS.com said Tuesday.

"Although he is entitled to go further and appeal to the Supreme Court, it is highly unlikely that the highest court of the US will overturn the denial by the Chicago Immigration Court, the Board of Immigration Appeals and the US Court of Appeals," said lawyer Harry Roque, who has been closely monitoring Bolante's case in the US.

“This is the end of the line for the most notorious Presidential friend, JocJoc Bolante," the lawyer added.

Roque did not elaborate on the details of the court's decision though he said additional information and a copy of the decision will be follow.

With the decision, Roque said that it is high time Bolante answer the demands on who ordered him to allegedly funnel funds meant for fertilizers for farmers to the campaign kitty of President Arroyo during the May 2004 elections.

Meanwhile, Sen. Panfilo Lacson, a member of the Senate panel probing the fertilizer fund scam, welcomed the development.

“Welcome back Joc Joc. It's about time, kailangang maliwanagan na ang isyu ukol sa fertilizer scam kasi siya lang ang puwedeng magsabi ng detalye ukol dito dahil siya lang ang nakakaalam… kaya welcome back Joc Joc," he said.

Bolante was arrested by immigration authorities upon arriving at Los Angeles International Airport from Seoul, South Korea, on July 7, 2006 after he was caught using an expired tourist visa.

Bolante has been ordered arrested by the Philippine Senate for repeatedly failing to attend hearings on the fertilizer fund scandal.

The Senate decided to probe the fertilizer fund after the Commission on Audit confirmed that the fertilizer used in the Ginintuang Masaganang Ani program was overpriced by at least P127 million.

COA records show that more than 100 of the 236 members of the House of Representatives, 53 governors and 26 town mayors received between P3 million and P10 million each in fertilizer funds from the DA shortly before the May 2004 election.

In matters of conscience, it is better to face justice than to burn inside with guilt.

Mr. Bolante, you can still redeem yourself by doing the right thing. Take courage and trust in the Lord for He is a good father. Cast your fears upon him.

Life is so short and precious to waste and spend it in evading justice. Give up that burden you unnecessarily are carrying. There is still life after this, and that is what matters above all.

Free yourself from that burden and you will also be freeing the nation of one agony it is suffering.