Rotarian to Rotarian

Please find in comments the statement of Prof. Harry Roque on Bolante’s return. .

When former Agriculture Secretary Jocelyn “Joc-Joc” comes back this week, he will have the rare opportunity to help in the cause of truth, justice and democracy in the country.

He can take up the challenge and tell the truth how he executed the crime of stealing from the poor farmers at least P728 million alloted to buy fertilizer and using the money to underwrite the vote buying and cheating of Gloria Arroyo in the 2004 elections. By doing so, he will help in cleansing the system of corrupt elements. He would be doing the Filipino people great service.

Or he can continue hiding in the darkness of the crime. In so doing, he will always be living in fear because as long as he is there, he will always be a threat to the masterminds and their accomplices.

Rodolfo “Jun” Lozada, former head of the Philippine Forest Corporation and star witness in the NBN/ZTE telecommunication scandal, had been through that experience. He shared the lessons he learned in this letter to Bolante:

Dear Joc-Joc,

Allow me to call you Joc-Joc as you are known in the media and by many Filipinos, too. As of this morning of the 24th of October, 2008, news about your lawyer petitioning the Supreme Court to issue a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) against the implementation of the arrest warrant issued by the Senate upon your arrival, hugs the headline of the major dailies together with the radio and TV news broadcast. The whole country seems to be anxiously awaiting your return, I am sure your family is also eager to see you back as well.

It is about your family that I am writing you, because of what my own family went through when I was in a similar situation that you are in now. Being a father myself, I know that the welfare and safety of your family is your foremost concern in the middle of all the controversy and the uncertainty that you are facing.

There is so much fear right now that pervades your life along with your loved ones. Questions such as, how safe are you in Manila? Is there a possibility that someone may attempt to harm you or your family? How are the people that you are covering for going to help you? How are you going to answer questions from media? How can the people you are covering up be trusted with their dilatory tactics to get you off the hook, away from the prying questions of the opposition senators?

We’re caught up in all of these questions and an “us versus them” way of thinking, that we almost forget to ask the right questions anymore – right questions such as: how are my children hurt with the truth that I am generally perceived as a corrupt criminal by the Filipino nation? How are my children going to explain my involvement in this fertilizer scam to their friends? How is my wife going to face our friends and still be seen as a person with integrity? What legacy am I leaving my children? Is leaving them with millions and big houses in Ayala Alabang better than leaving them with a good name?

I am sharing these insights with you, because if there is one thing that I did regret in telling the truth about how this Arroyo administration has been stealing from the very people it is supposed to serve, it is that I was not able to prepare my wife and my children well enough against the backlash of this government’s wrath against me for telling the people about their crimes. You still have time to discern your next move, whether or not you are going to tell the people the truth about the fertilizer scam or bring the secret to your grave, just like Romy Neri.

As a father, I am asking you to please think about your children, please consider the legacy you are going to leave to them. Are you going to forever leave them as pariahs branded as children of a thief–or as children of someone who did wrong and yet chose to serve his country in the end, rather than to be a captive forever of the dark forces he used to serve? And, please prepare your family whatever way you may wish to choose. Discuss this together with them because at the end of it all, they will suffer or be affected more as a consequence of your decision.

Secondly, as a fellow Rotarian, how about taking the Four Way test as part of your discernment process? Is it the Truth? Is it fair to everyone concerned? Will it build goodwill and better friendship? Will it be beneficial to everyone concerned? You have been a good Rotarian for many good years of your life. Will you now turn your back on these ideals in the biggest test of your Rotarian values?

Lastly, let me share with you one of the most profound lessons I have learned in my own journey towards the truth, a truth not as a goal to be reached but rather as a way of life to be lived. I have found that the opposite of all the fears I am confronted with is not courage but faith. It is faith in a God who said, “I am the way, the truth and the life”, a just God who will judge us not in terms of the wealth we have on earth but in terms of what we did to our fellow human beings. It is my faith in this God that allowed me to face all the fears that I am confronted with when I decided to tell the truth that I know about the NBN-ZTE scam.

May you find the faith to lead you to the Light of God’s love that no darkness can ever defeat, not even a President of the Republic of the Philippines.

May God bless you with the wisdom to choose your path.

October 27, 2008 12:17 am  Tags: ,   Posted in: Governance, Impeachment '08, Politics

20 Responses

  1. iwatcher 2010 - October 27, 2008 12:41 am

    katotohanan lamang gng. jocjoc bolante!

    ang sakit na pagnanakaw, panlilinlang, pagtatakip sa mga anomalya at pang-aabuso ay animoy kanser na patuloy at unti-unting papatay sa’yo…at kung talagang malinis ang iyong konsiyensiya at ikaw ay naging bahagi lamang dahil sa pakikisama at utang na loob ay tatanggapin ng pilipino yun!
    katotohanan lamang ang gamot sa kanser ng konsiyensiya mo at pag ikaw ay pumanaw maalala ka sa kagaguhan mo at pati ang pamilya mo ay habangbuhay na dadalhin ang kasiraan ng iniwan mong pangalan…si sec. neri nasa magandang posisyon nga sa ngayon pero ang nasirang niyang pangalan ay kailanman hindi na maibabalik at kasaysayan ang maghuhusga ng kaduwagan at pagtataksil sa bayan.

    katotohanan lamang ang sigaw at tanong ng sambayang pilipino

  2. The Equalizer - October 27, 2008 1:37 am

    Dear Jun Lozada (via Ellen)

    First of all,I commend you for being steadfast.It means enduring to the end and holding firm to gospel principles, even after the the kitchen sink had been thrown to you by the Palace gang.

    Secondly, I want to tease you a little bit.I think you are being naive to expect The Joke Bolante to be another “Jun Lozada”.That guy was brazen enough to pull off that caper in behalf of his Palace bosses because he was going to be mightily rewarded by them.

    As you can see,I am so jaded.The “man for others ” ideal was lost on people like The Joke Bolante, Ronnie D’ Puno,Romy Neri and Jose Pidal.

    Unfortunately, there are very few Jun Lozadas left.

    Jun,parang “Nagiisa Ka Na Lang”

    I pray that God protect you and your family.


  3. Toney Cuevas - October 27, 2008 1:46 am

    Joc Joc Bolante tell the truth? ha! ha! ha! It’ll be the first, but I won’t hold my breathe. The only reason Bolate choices to go to jail in the USA is to avoid telling the truth in the first place and it took the USA court to deport that ass h*le. Furthermore, Bolate already spent, probably a large portion of the 720 million pesos of farmers fertilizer for his own personal use and lawyers so he doesn’t have to face the Philippines Congress. We can also make a good argument that wh*re Gloria Arroyo will not let it happen, that’s to let Bolate testify and to implicate the entire administration of the wh*re, especially the luckiest bit*h herself. Lets face the reality, wh*re Gloria is holding all the aces, and this one will be forgotten like the many before. It’s the way things are with illegitimate wh*re’s authoritarian regime, after eight years the people has already given up and/or surrendered to the will of the wh*re and the true justice of the law will never prevail as long as the Arroyos are in power and the Generals, among others are supporting the bit*h.

  4. Mike - October 27, 2008 1:47 am

    Very well said by Mr. Lozada. Couldn’t agree more. Ang tanong lang eh, tatalab ba kay Joc Joc yan? Actually he only has 2 choices. Money or Honor. If he keeps his mouth shut or lies, he would probably keep all his money but not his honor nor his integrity. If he chooses to tell all and be truthful about it, he may loose all his worldly possessions but his honor and integrity will remain intact to which I believe that no money or any precious stones can buy. Think about it Joc Joc, don’t be a joke-joke to your family, friends and the nation. Be a Honorable Jocelyn “Joc Joc” Bolante. Make your family, friends and the nation proud of you.

  5. Toney Cuevas - October 27, 2008 2:10 am

    Philippines has no rule of laws, only wh*re’s dictated “Rules by Brown Bags”. The people has already raised the white flag a long time ago when the mobs headed by wh*re Gloria usurped a legitimate govt mandated by the people, that was the Philippines justice died. So it’s safe to say that the Philippines judicial system is no longer functional. To hope that somehow Joc Joc Bolate will come through for the people is naivenes. Furthermore, Bolate is not the one should be prosecuted, but the wh*re Gloria Arroyo. As Bolate would say, the devil made me do it.

  6. grizzy - October 27, 2008 2:56 am

    Atty Roque is calling for public vigilance re coming home of Joc Joc. Baka daw kidnapin na naman ng mga sipsip na protector ni Mrs. Unano. Baka mangyari diyan katulad noong nangyari kay Ninoy. No guarantee kahit na kasama iyong Marshall na kano dahil baka kasabwat din iyong mga kano to make sure that Bolate will not squeal on his bosses dahil kailangan pa ng mga kano si Gloria dahil sa pangako niya na hindi alam ng mga kano na iyong unano walang palabra de honor kasi ganoon din sila!

  7. rose - October 27, 2008 5:41 am

    There was a TV program I used to watch religiously: To Tell The Truth..At the end of the game–the person being featured is asked to come forward and the announcer would say: “Will the real (name)…please come forward. Using this I would like to ask Mr. Bolante..Will the real Jocelyn Bolante please come forward.

  8. etcetera - October 27, 2008 6:34 am

    Interesting facts about the invented “Executive Privilege” of bansot’s Supreme Court:

    Executive privilege is not written in the Philippine Constitution but is a recognized doctrine in US jurisprudence.

    Executive Privilege cannot be used to hide a crime. This was the decision in the case of US vs. Nixon

    NUPL warns Sec. Neri that should he lie before a Senate investigation or invent a story related to diplomatic relations with China, he is committing perjury punishable with prision correccional under Article 183 of the Revised Penal Code. Pres. Arroyo will not be in power forever, and public officials are warned that they will have to account to the people for graft and other crimes committed during Pres. Arroyo’s administration.

  9. Valdemar - October 27, 2008 7:48 am

    Bolante used the fertilizer fund for himself. Reason enough for him to seek for asylum. Rotarians? Behind every fortune could be a crime!

  10. rose - October 27, 2008 8:07 am

    Ellen: isn’t Oct. 28 the anniversary of this blog? Congratulations!

  11. Ellen - October 27, 2008 8:51 am

    Thanks, for reminding me, Rose. Time flies so fast. Thank you all for supporting this blog.

  12. chi - October 27, 2008 9:02 am

    Anniversary ng Ellenville. Uuwi na si Dyokdyok sa Martes, nandito pa rin tayo!

    Congratulations, Ellen!

  13. Golberg - October 27, 2008 9:46 am

    From Rose: “Will the real Jocelyn Bolante please come forward.”
    Rose, pangalan pa lang ni Bolante eh baklang-bakla na. Sa lahi ni Adan ang pangalan Jocelyn.
    Alin kaya sa 2 siya. Lalaking nagpaka-babae o babaeng nagpaka-lalaki?
    Pero I doubt kung siya yung pangalawa na nabanggit ko.

  14. Ellen - October 27, 2008 10:14 am

    From Fritz Parondo:

    I believe the Rotary Club of the Philippines should bond together and make Joc-joc bolante adhere to their four way test. I believe you should drum up this and write a lengthy write up how they could and should compel him to follow what they preach! If they can’t do it, what good is Rotary Club? It will just rotate and do another joc-joc !

  15. Mike - October 27, 2008 12:00 pm

    Happy anniversary Ellen! 🙂

  16. Ellen - October 27, 2008 12:28 pm

    Thanks, Mike.

  17. Ellen - October 27, 2008 12:29 pm

    Statement of Atty. Harry Roque:

    Joc-Joc Bolante: Quo Vadis?

    By: Prof. Harry L. Roque, jr.
    UP College of Law
    Chairman, Center for International Law

    Unless plans are changed at the very last minute, Former Undersecretary Jocelyn “Joc-joc” Bolante, the most famous Senate fugitive, will soon be home. After spending two and half years behind bars as a result of his repeated judicial challenges against US authority’s refusal to grant him entry into the United States, he has finally run out of legal options and consequently, his imminent deportation.

    Bolante’s homecoming raises a series of very interesting question. First, why the flight? Bolante has repeatedly maintained his innocence from any and all wrongdoings in connection with the so-called Fertilizer scam. And yet, despite the fact that many of his colleagues in the Arroyo administration, including the more notorious ones like Garci, were in the end granted impunity, what was so frightening to him that made him choose life behind bars in a prison commingled with common criminals?

    Some will speculate that it is because he could link the President to the fertilizer scam. True, but isn’t that something that everyone already knows? The Senate report, echoing the earlier PCIJ report on the scam, precisely concluded that the proceeds of the 728 million fertilizer scam was diverted towards the President’s 2004 election bid. So what else is new? Perhaps it is not the fact this fact that matters, but that the possibility that it could even be confirmed is what does ,matter to powers that be.

    There is an alternative view. Perhaps it is not the fact of wrongdoing that matters, given that this administration hsa proven to be oblivious to allegations of wrongdoing. Naughty minds are wondering whether there is a quarrel among thieves. Could it be that Bolante’s co-conspirators was given a different accounting of what was involved?, or at least different from what has been reported by both the Senate and the Commission on Audit?. This to me appears more plausible given that wrath amongst friends appear to be more potent than amongst enemies.

    Second, what now? Already, no less than Senate President Manuel Villar has expressed at least the doubt that the order of arrest against Bolante could be served. There is of course no basis to these doubts given that the order of arrest for Bolante was for contempt of the Senate as an institution and not pursuant to an arrest warrant issued by a Judge. It matters not thus that the personalities that signed the order of arrest are no longer in the Senate. It was the institution that was aggrieved and this fact alone should be a legal reason for the Senate’s Sergeant- at- Arms to proceed to arrest Bolante and to bring him to the Senate for the purpose of compelling him to testify in what the Senate has described as an ‘unfinished investigation” until Bolante, the “architect of the scam,” could be heard. Still, the fact that the Senate is a continuing body with always 12 members in office should be another reason why the order of arrests subsists.

    Finally, sans both a case pending in the Sandiganbayan and an order of arrest from the Senate, Bolante walks. Quo Vadis, Bolante?

    Well, to begin with, Bolante’s deportation despite his protestation of a well grounded fear of persecution, is a major triumph for the people and civil society. By opposing his asylum petition and by invoking the truth that he was fleeing from a criminal prosecution for graft and corrupt practices act, civil society belied the lies peddled by Bolante and his witnesses, including no less than a sitting Undersecretary of Agriculture and a retired general. It certainly sends the loud and clear message that flight to a foreign jurisdiction is not (always) tantamount to impunity. It proves that civil society may be counted upon when the government itself has opted to frustrate the ends of justice. I think the message should be heeded by would be plunderers and despot: money and power alone will not buy you impunity. For when the people acts, justice, even in a small way in the form of deportation, as Bolante bitterly learned, will be served. As Don Quixote himself learned: sometimes, small victories is enough to “cast up the people amongst the stars.”

    (The author counts the Supreme Court’s Declaration that Presidential proclamation 1017 is unconstitutional and the deportation of Joc-joc Bolante as the highlights of his legal career).

  18. chi - October 27, 2008 9:14 pm

    Don’t you worry rotarian dyokdyok, gumagalaw na ang mga galamay ni big fat rotarian Mike to get you ahead of the Senate.

    If the Senate won’t do anything in its powers to punish this criminal, I would rather have him turned into fertilizer.

  19. grizzy - October 28, 2008 12:22 am

    Valdemar: Bolante used the fertilizer fund for himself.

    Really? Walang kasosyo? E bakit gusto siyang itago noong pandak?

  20. iwatcher 2010 - October 29, 2008 1:44 am

    kaibigang grizzy…nanakawan kasi ng magnanakaw ang magnanakaw kaya ganun na lang ang takot ni jocjoc bolante lalo na kay kingpin pidal…di kasi nakarating lahat ng political funds sa mga intended recipients na mayors at local politicos kaya karamihan sa mga lugar na nabigyan ay natalo si gloria o di kayay lumamang lang ng kaunti sa kabila ng landslide scenario na binida ng mga alipores kapalit ng nasabing fertilizer funds.
    at karamihan sa pondo ay ginamit ni jocjoc for other purposes kaya nga dami nya dummy bank accounts-kaya dalawa na ang kaaway niya noong panahong iyon ang malacanang mafia at arroyo corrupt-poration pati na rin ang senado at taong-bayan.

    mistulang tikom at takot ang itsura ni jocjoc paglabas sa naia airport kasi bago pa man ang nasabing deportation ay nagpadala na ng emisaryo si kingpin pidal na kalimutan na nila lahat ng away nila just to cooperate with their prepared script.

    kaya nga tiwala ang malacanang na ‘they are not interested with bolantes return” kasi tinakot na nga nila yung pobre. kaawaawa rin nagpagamit at ngayon nabubuhay sa takot.
    may part 2 pa script nila…they will attempt to get jocjoc out to another country…abangan natin ang susunod nilang kilos.

    magmasid, makilahok at manindigan sa mga isyu ng bayan…

    we must now unite and act together to fight corruption!

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