NEWS: Way Kurat admits receiving P3 M Bolante’s fertilizer

nov 17

On his birthday yesterday, Compostela Valley Congressman Manuel “Way Kurat” Zamora (1st District) admitted yesterday that he also received the controversial Bolante fertilizer but in August 2004, after the May 2004 polls.
“It was all duly accounted for and I even issued memorandum receipts to the recipient barangay captains,” he said.
“I have my list of recipients, and I wish I’ll be the first one to be called in the investigation so that I’ll be exonerated,” he added.
He said that it was not P3 million money that he received but fertilizers, “katong naa sa one litro, liquid”. 
In a press conference after lunch and amid an ongoing birthday celebration held tophill of his Octagon farm park nestling on rolling hills at Monkayo poblacion, Zamora, now 58, said that it was the municipality of New Bataan during the administration of the late Margarito Cualing which was the original recipient of the so-called Bolante fertilizers.
Considering the fertilizers’ arrival after the polls, he said, the accusation is thus wrong that he used the fertilizer for election purposes.
He added that since he wanted that the fertilizer be distributed in his district, the stock then was delivered to his congressional district office and he identified the  barangay captains “who know better” how to dispose it as the final recipients.
Except in Monkayo, the rest of the barangays in District 1 received the fertilizer, he said.
At that time, Zamora was then at political odds with Monkayo Mayor Manuel Brillantes.
Even the militant farmers in the Kilusang Magbubukid sa Pilipinas (KMP) have received “one multicab of fertilizer” months after the distribution when he learned that there was still remaining stock in his office when the group complained to him about reported fertilizer scam, Zamora bared.
Meanwhile, Davao del Norte Cong. Arrel Olano (District 1) has remained mum on the issue when asked again in text query by Sidlak until 7:00 PM last night.
In the Philippine Center of Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) website, Bolante’s letter to Olano is published online as one of the exhibits of PCIJ’s expose story on the fertilizer scam, entiltled “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 Zamora had only P3 million.
During the campaign period for the 2004 polls, Del Rosario’s son Anthony Rafael was then sitting as boardmember being the president of Federation of Association of Barangay Captains (FABC).
Already, Caballero last week said he did not receive any fertilizer or fertilizer fund after he complied with requirements sought by a letter from the Department of Agriculture informing him of the P5 million fertilizer fund allocation. 
Sidlak tried but failed to contact Gov. Del Rosario and former Cong. Floirendo. (Cha Monforte/Rural Urban News)

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