His Heart Is Still Sick. What Can Cure It?

Farmers Doubt Ombudsman on Joc-Joc Case

Philippine Daily Inquirer

This is a reaction to the news reports on the return of former Agriculture Undersecretary Jocelyn “Joc-joc” Bolante to the country. We seriously doubt if the Ombudsman would pursue the case against him, and we urge the Senate to immediately reopen its investigation of the fertilizer fund scam.

Since 2004, the Ombudsman has sat on our plunder case against Bolante. We doubt if she will move to sincerely resolve the case. We believe Bolante should be made to face the music and account for what he did against us peasants.

If the Senate is to refer his case to the Supreme Court, then it should act expeditiously so that Malacañang and the Department of Justice will not be able to bring Bolante under their control. If Bolante is to testify now, then not only would he bring us closer to knowing the whole truth on the P728-million fertilizer scam; he would also shed light on the modus operandi behind the P218.7-million rice scam and the P135-million vegetable seeds scam last year. He could also help prevent another scam of the same or worse magnitude in 2010.

We are prepared to go back to the Senate and renew our testimony that we got no fertilizer funds or fertilizers from the government in 2004. In fact, we are even prepared to testify that we did not receive any vegetable seeds that were supposedly distributed to farmers last year.

Bolante should be made an example and he should be punished severely for diverting funds meant for the peasantry. Justice must be served.

The Senate must foil any administration attempt to get Bolante off the hook. They should be very wary of Malacañang because Bolante’s testimony or admission of guilt would be a very powerful push for the new impeachment case against Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

We will be watching this new chapter in the fertilizer scam very closely, and we will once again take to the streets if the need arises.

FELIX PAZ, chair, Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas-Bikol, Barangay Alcala, Daraga, Albay

By the sight of him being ushered upon arrival at the airport (following his deportation after finally denied asylum in the USA) on a wheelchair as he passed inanimate (except for the weak gesture of his right hand which appeared to be caressing his chest) through a crowd of people and media who were curiously awaiting (with not much gleaned from the event but more of their mixed expectations), and with the kind of smokes which emanate from the chimneys of his camp that blend with the flare lights from the tall tower, this man indeed may still be harboring the old proverbial sickness of the heart.

If a man is not willing to be cured of this type of sickness, nothing will ever make him well except himself. While the nation is giving him the opportunity, he should take the chance. How much time there is? Not much.

Let him [them] play his [their] game for a while, who knows what may happen; and maybe the whole nation might not need to play another game after all.