NEWS: Olano admits receiving Bolante’s fertilizer, too

nov 18

Davao del Norte District 1 Congressman Arrel Olano has admitted he also received the controversial Bolante fertilizers before the start of campaign period for the 2004 polls.

In a report of Periodico Norte yesterday, Olano said that some 6,000 farmers from Asuncion, Kapalong, San Isidro and Talaingod received not money but liquid fertilizers coursed through to his office from the Dept. of Agriculture-XI. He said this could be verified right on field.

He added that the distribution of fertilizer had even gone beyond the May 2004 elections after he stopped it when the election period began.

In the Philippine Center of Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) website, the letter of former agriculture undersecretary Jocelyn “Jocjoc” Bolante to Olano is published online as one of the exhibits of PCIJ’s expose story on the fertilizer scam, entitled “Billions in Farm Funds Used for Arroyo Campaign”.

The special allotment release order (SARO) of the P728 million fertilizer fund dated Feb. 3, 2004 contained the names of Davao del Norte Governor Rodolfo del Rosario, former Comval Gov. Jose Caballero, former Davao del Norte Cong. Antonio “Tonyboy” Floirendo (District 2) and former Comval Cong. Prospero Amatong (District 2) with each having an allocation of P5 million, while Comval Cong. Manuel “Way Kurat” Zamora (District 1) had only P3 million.

On Monday, Zamora admitted receiving Bolante’s fertilizer only after the May 2004 elections. He said it was well accounted for and had list of beneficiaries for it who included even the militant Kilusang Magbubukid sa Pilipinas in his province.

Former Comval Gov. Jose Caballero also earier said he did not receive the fertilizer nor any money for it.

Gov. Del Rosario and former Cong. Floirendo have yet to issue a statement on the issue (Cha Monforte/Rural Urban News)


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