Group hits Ombudsman for clearing Arroyo

Saturday, May 10, 2014

via Sunstar Pampanga

MABALACAT CITY — The Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) assailed the Office of the Ombudsman for clearing former President and now Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in the fertilizer fund scam.

“The biggest reversal in recent history, a blockbuster case of political accommodation involving the highest office in the land,” said the fisherfolk alliance Pamalakaya, one of the complainants in the P728-million fertilizer fund scam.

Pamalakaya vice chairperson Salvador France joined staunch ally and main complainant Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) in denouncing to “high heaven” the resolution of Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales clearing Arroyo for lack of any factual or legal basis.

The resolution, which was signed on May 2, asserted that there is no evidence to establish that Arroyo had a hand in the disbursement of the fertilizer fund.

“The dropping of the case against former President Arroyo is a national foul play committed against millions of farmers, fisherfolk and rural people. This was done to accommodate the Arroyo camp in exchange for political benefits and negotiated political settlements between the camp of Aquino and the camp of Arroyo,” the Pamalakaya official said.

“There’s must be an exchange deal between the two political camps. It is written all-over the May 2 resolution of the Office of the Ombudsman,” he added.

The KMP stated that in Senate Committee Report No. 254 that was submitted to the Ombudsman by the Senate of the 14th Congress, the Senate compared the group of people involved in the Ginintuang Masaganang Ani (GMA) Fertilizer Fund Scam to a wolf pack who was able to rob the government blind.

The KMP added that the Senate of the 13th Congress also submitted to the Ombudsman Committee Report No. 54. Like the Senate Committee Report 254, in this committee report, the Senate recommended the filing of charges against Luis Lorenzo, Jocelyn Bolante and other persons for plunder. The Senate in its report stated that strong criminal culpability is established against them.

In the 13th Congress, the Senate stated that Arroyo “must be held accountable in the mismanagement of the fertilizer fund and take it upon herself to institute measures to correct the flaws in her administration.”

The Senate said that while the committee found no evidence directly linking the President to the fertilizer scam, the acts of the former Department of Agriculture Undersecretary Bolante and his cohorts, now Undersecretary Belinda Gonzales and now Government Service Insurance System Vice President Ibarra Poliquit, are deemed acts of the President since they acted within the scope of their authorities given to them by then Secretary Luis Lorenzo Jr.



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