Decide on fertilizer fund scam, Magsaysay asks court-A A +A
Saturday, February 16, 2013
A SENATORIAL candidate of the Liberal Party (LP) urged the anti-graft court Sandiganbayan to expedite the resolution of the so-called fertilizer fund scam under the Arroyo administration.
"I'm appealing to the honorable justices of the Sandiganbayan to be honorable," former Senator Ramon Magsaysay Jr. told reporters during the political rally of the administration slate in the vote-rich province of Cavite this week.
"Dapat umasenso na ang farmers pero iba ang umasenso," Magsaysay, one of the senatorial candidates of the LP-led coalition Team PNoy, added.
Magsaysay, in his capacity as chairman of the Senate committee on agriculture in 2006, led the initial investigation on the alleged diversion of P728 million in fertilizer funds to support the campaign war chest of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in 2004.
Arroyo won the 2004 presidential elections against her closest rival, the late actor Fernando Poe Jr.
Magsaysay had submitted the results of the Senate probe before then Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez, an Arroyo appointee.
However, it took Gutierrez five years before filing plunder charges against former Agriculture secretary Luis "Cito" Lorenzo and former Agriculture undersecretary Jocelyn "Jocjoc" Bolante and several others before the Sandiganbayan.
In 2011, under the Aquino presidency, the House of Representatives impeached Gutierrez for betraying the public's trust. One of the charges against Gutierrez was her supposed failure to act on the fertilizer fund scam.
Gutierrez has since resigned and replaced by former Supreme Court Associate Justice Conchita Carpio-Morales. (Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)