The Black & White Movement welcomes the Senate President’s enforcement of the longstanding arrest order on Mr. Bolante as he continues to hold the Senate in contempt. Mr. Bolante has insulted the Senate with his arrogant defiance and decision to evade accountability completely by seeking asylum in the US. We regard the silence of the Supreme Court on Bolante’s request for a temporary restraining order on the Senate’s warrant of arrest as a tacit decision to let the lawful arrest order stand.
There is no better time than now to reopen the Fertilizer Scam hearings, either via the Senate Committee on Agriculture or its Blue Ribbon Committee. Mr. Bolante should be made to account for the PhP728 million meant for Filipino famers. Doing any less would send the wrong message to our people and cast doubt on the integrity of the Senate.
In investigating the Fertilizer Scam, the Agriculture Committee headed by former Sen. Jun Magsaysay uncovered evidence of wrongdoing against the Filipino farmer, but also, the Filipino nation. It is regrettable that the hard work and dedication of Sen. Magsaysay and his colleagues, their staff, and so many concerned citizens in and out of government, has led to so little action. The Anti Money-Laundering Council has taken some praiseworthy steps, but the Ombudsman shows little inclination to do her job and bring people like Joc-Joc Bolante before the bar of justice. We are mystified at why it has taken this agency over two years and half to begin a preliminary investigation.
We question the propriety of Atty. Antonio Zulueta’s defense of Mr. Bolante. Atty. Zulueta is known publicly to be a lawyer for the First Gentleman, Mike Arroyo. We ask - what does Mr. Arroyo have to gain by supporting Mr. Bolante with legal aid?
Ramon Magsaysay said he who has less in life should have more in law. Joc-Joc Bolante, who has been given so much in and out of government, cannot turn his back on the law, and that includes lawmakers who have a mandate to exercise oversight over officials, past and present. Justice delayed is, indeed, justice denied, and Bolante has denied the Filipino people a just resolution of this scam for three years now. Enough is enough. Let him face the Senate or be compelled to tell the truth.