Roxas: Esperat decision start of Ombudsman cover-up

Liberal President Senator Mar Roxas rebuked Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez Saturday for dismissing the graft charges filed against former DA Undersecretary Jocelyn “Jocjoc” Bolante by slain journalist Marlene Esperat in 2003, as he expressed concern this could be the start of an official whitewash of the anomalies in the agriculture sector in the Arroyo Administration.
Ang kapalit ng pagtataksil na ito ay ang buhay ni Esperat (The price for this betrayal is Esperat’s life),” Roxas said regarding the Ombudsman’s decision this week to junk the graft charges filed by Esperat in 2003 against Bolante, Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap and other DA officials in relation to a P432-million fertilizer fund that never reached farmer-beneficiaries.
He said Gutierrez has proven again public perceptions she has become a willing tool of Malacañang to cover up irregularities in the Arroyo Administration, adding he is concerned the Ombudsman will likely throw out the plunder charges against Bolante and other Arroyo officials involved in the P728-million fertilizer fund scam in 2004.
By junking the Esperat case, Ombudsman Gutierrez has again betrayed her constitutional duty to protect the people. Do we need more lives to be sacrificed before the corruption in this administration is brought to justice?” Roxas asked.
The Ilonggo senator has warned that Ombudsman Gutierrez’ inaction on major graft cases involving officials close to the First Family and their allies will intensify calls for leadership change in the government similar to the call made recently by five bishops led by CBCP President Archbishop Angel Lagdameo.

He expressed concern that the Ombudsman found no reason to prosecute those involved in the fund diversion despite Esperat’s sacrifice of her life.

Esperat was a former journalist who filed graft charges as resident Ombudsman of the DA’s Central Mindanao office against Yap, Bolante and other DA officials for their alleged involvement in a P432-million fertilizer fund diversion scheme in 2003. She was gunned down before her children in their home in Sultan Kudarat.
Ang mensahe nito sa ating lahat ay wala na tayong aasahan pang hustisya sa ilalim ng administrasyon na ito (The message here is that we should not expect justice under this administration),” Roxas said.

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Kevin Ray N. Chua

Kevin Ray N. Chua is a 19 year-old blogger from Cebu City, Philippines and an IT Student at Cebu Institute of Technology.

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2 Responses So far
on November 12, 2008 at 7:54 AM  

Multuhin sana sila ni esperat!

Kevin Ray
on November 12, 2008 at 10:25 AM  

Sana nga Dexter! The killing of Esperat was really meant to silence her from speaking the truth about the Fertilizer scam. As the Ombudsman tries to cover-up the issue, the more they get tainted with their image.

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