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  1. Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Fertilizer probe opens more cans of worms

    First posted 01:33am (Mla time) Nov 18, 2005
    By Philip C. Tubeza
    Inquirer News Service

    AT THE RESUMPTION of the Senate probe of the P728-million fertilizer fund, the assistant provincial treasurer of Eastern Samar said the provincial government did not receive "a single drop" of fertilizer although P6.5 million from the Ginintuang Masaganang Ani (GMA) program had been released for the province.

    The company that was supposed to deliver fertilizer to the province turned out to be a vegetable store in Caloocan City.

    The fund was meant solely for farm inputs but was allegedly diverted to boost President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's election campaign in 2004.

    Former Budget Secretary Emilia Boncodin also testified that former Agriculture Undersecretary Jocelyn "Joc-joc" Bolante should be able to answer questions about the alleged scam.

    In her first testimony, Boncodin said Bolante should be asked about the controversial fund releases because he was the one who had asked for them.

    Asked by Senator Rodolfo Biazon if the President knew about the releases, Boncodin said: "Yes, I would imagine so."

    Bolante was invited to a Senate hearing on Oct. 27, but he left the country hours before the hearing began.

    Boncodin said she had assumed that the President knew about the controversial fund releases.

    Akame Marketing

    Antonio Salas, Eastern Samar assistant provincial treasurer, told the Senate agriculture committee that the province disbursed a total of P6.5 million to Akame Marketing International in April 2004 for 4,328 bags of fertilizer, but the province did not receive the farm inputs.

    Salas said provincial agricultural officer Jesus Agda certified to him that the province did not receive the fertilizer although Thomas Campomanes, a representative of the Provincial General Services Office, claimed that the chief of staff of Eastern Samar Representative Marcelino Libanan and Governor Clotilde Salazar had received them.

    "We spoke with Mr. Agda and found out that there were no actual deliveries of fertilizer or implements to the provincial government and he, thereafter, issued a certification to that effect dated June 7, 2004," Salas said in his sworn affidavit.

    "I was surprised to know this because, contrary to Mr. Agda's certification, (Campomanes) declared in the inspection report dated April 14, 2004, that 2,164 (sacks of fertilizer were) accepted by Attorney Norman Tancingco (Libanan's chief of staff), were inspected, verified and found okay as to quantity and specifications," he said.

    Salas said another inspection made by Campomanes on April 19, 2004, indicated that 2,164 bags were accepted by Salazar on April 19, 2004.

    Ghost deliveries

    The assistant treasurer said he learned about the alleged ghost deliveries when he personally made inquiries after some people asked in June 2004 about the bags of fertilizer, "which were supposed to be delivered to the province and availed of by the farmers."

    "I wanted for so long to be with this body so that our people and the country would know about these anomalies," he told the senators.

    Salas insisted that no fertilizer was delivered, adding that Campomanes' office was near his office and he would have known if any deliveries were made.

    Aling Simang Gulayan

    Salas also pointed out that a regional newspaper discovered that the phone number on the receipt of Akame Marketing belonged to a vegetable store in Caloocan.

    "The said store is in fact Aling Simang Gulayan and does not distribute fertilizer and (a representative of the store) further stated that the store has been receiving a lot of calls asking if the same is Akame Marketing," he said.

    Salas said that a certain Kevin Obed Apostol personally encashed the second disbursement to Akame.

    Senator Ramon Magsaysay Jr., agriculture committee chair, said the committee would subpoena Apostol.

    Let truth come out

    Alfonso Esposa, president of the Eastern Samar Irrigators Federation, backed Salas' claims, telling the senators that provincial agricultural officer Agda had also told him that not a single bag of fertilizer was delivered to the province.

    "I categorically state and confirm that no member of our organization received any fertilizer or farm input since I became the Irrigators Federation president of Eastern Samar in 2001 up to the present," Esposa said.

    Esposa said farmers in the province had even planned to get a loan because they needed money for fertilizer.

    "I should know if the farmers got the fertilizers because they were approaching me and asking 'Where are the fertilizers?"' he said.

    Next hearing

    Magsaysay said he hoped Bolante and former Agriculture Secretary Luis “Cito” Lorenzo, who had both gone abroad, would appear at the next Senate hearing on the fund releases next week.

    Former Solicitor General Frank Chavez urged the committee to immediately serve the summons on Bolante who, he said, had reportedly returned to the country.

    Former Education Secretary Florencio Abad also denied that Batanes province had received P3 million in fertilizer funds, although he was named a proponent for the program by Bolante when Abad was a congressman.
    Last edited by explorer; November 18th, 2005 at 02:01 PM.

  2. Join Date
    Oct 2002
    well hayan na naman. binobola ang taong bayan. pera ng taong bayan kung saan-saan napupunta. yan ang magiging legacy ng rehimeng GMA................... pati fertilizer ginawang medium ng panloloko. haaaaaaay

  3. Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Tapos magagalit ang gobyerno kung sinama tayo sa mga list of most corrupt countries. Tsk tsk.

  4. Join Date
    Mar 2005
    The administration is literally up to their necks in "s**t"... That's french for "fertilizer".

  5. Join Date
    May 2005
    of course .. the operative word is .. "assumed"

    "Boncodin said she had assumed that the President knew about the controversial fund releases."

    hearsay na naman .. for all we know it just went to the pockets of bolante .. if they want to use this issue against the president .. they should have hard evidence that links these to the prez .. that's what i want to hear ..
    Last edited by mrpink; November 18th, 2005 at 06:26 PM.

  6. Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Si Bolante may tinatagong bolate.

  7. Join Date
    Oct 2002
    What's new in this gov. lahat naman ng umupo may kanya kanyang milagrong ginagawa mag mula sa Brgy. Capt. hanggang sa Phil Press... kawawang mga mag sasaka imbes na mag ka abono.. sila pa nag abono

  8. Join Date
    May 2004

Fertilizer probe opens more cans of worms