We Need Good, Honest, & Competent Senators -- Not Actors

Ex-Solgen says Bolante ran rings around senators


Veteran lawyer and former Solicitor General Frank Chavez advised senators Friday to devote more time reading and analyzing documents on the P728-million fertilizer fund before facing former Agriculture Undersecretary Jocelyn "Jocjoc" Bolante in the next hearing.

Chavez said Bolante was "very evasive". 'Talagang he was running rings around a lot of senators,” the lawyer said during an interview on radio dzMM.

"If you want to go through this, senators should devote more time studying the documents and then preparing for interpellation," Chavez added.

He said senators should be knowledgeable about the controversial fertilizer fund to effectively prove that Bolante’s statements on Thursday were all lies.

The former solicitor general said that from the start, he did not expect that something good will come out of the Senate Blue-Ribbon Committee hearing.

“If you increase your level of expectation, you also increase your level of expression. Wala akong expectations (I had no expectations),” he said.

Chavez added that he believes the Senate is not the proper venue to find out the truth about the alleged misuse of the fertilizer fund.

He said the Office of the Ombudsman is not an agency reliable when it comes to finding out the truth, either.

He said the Ombudsman has been “under sedation” and sitting on important cases, including the fertilizer fund scam.

“Sadly that constitutional office has been captured by Malacañang from the very start,” Chavez said.

'Only his name and his health condition were true'

Sen. Manuel Roxas II, meanwhile, said that the only truth that came out of Bolante's mouth during Thursday's hearing were his name and his health condition.

"Ang kanyang pangalan, at 'yung nasa magandang kalusugan siya. Sa totoo lang dalawa't kalahating taon niyang napaghandaan ang testimoniyang ito (The only truth that came out of his mouth were those about his name and his health condition. The truth is, he prepared for two and a half years for this)," the senator said in an interview on ABS-CBN's "Umagang Kay Ganda" morning show.

Roxas said they were able to prove that the Filipino saying "kapatid ng sinungaling ang magnanakaw" (liars and thieves are from the same mold) still runs true in Bolante's case.

"Maaring sabihin niya na hindi alam ng Pangulo ang anomalya pero 'yung pag-release ng ganito kalaking halaga, hindi kapanipaniwala na hindi alam ng Pangulo at number two, pamimigay sa kaalyado ng Pangulo improsibleng hindi alam (He may say that the President never knew anything about the anomaly but to be in the dark about the release of millions of pesos in funds, that's impossible, and number two, it's impossible that the President would not know about millions of pesos in funds delivered to her allies)," Roxas added.

The senator said they are not on the losing end, despite claims to the contrary. He said that the panel is set to summon officials of the Department of Agriculture (DA) who were involved in disbursing the funds to farmers, as stated by Bolante.

The second hearing has been scheduled for next week.

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