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Wheels of justice grind not only slowly but releases doubtful results

CartFormer President now Representative of Pampanga Gloria Macapagal Arroyo could be celebrating profusely now with the decision of the Ombudsman clearing her of any involvement of that much talked-about corrupt practice in the P728 million fertilizer fund scam of 2004. The Ombudsman says they see no “factual or legal basis” for the former President to be held liable for illegal acts committed by subordinates. The P728 million worth of fertilizers was released by the Department of Agriculture under its program Ginintuang Masaganang Ani project to finance the purchase of farm inputs like fertilizers and pesticides intended for 181 farmer-beneficiaries nationwide. The Commission on Audit findings, however, revealed that many of the beneficiaries did not receive these farm inputs. It was alleged that these funds were diverted to finance GMA’s presidential campaign in 2004. It took almost a decade for the Ombudsman to finally rule that charges against the former President lack “factual and legal basis” of her involvement in the scam. The Ombudsman was too slow in coming up with such decision and yet we doubt its findings. What happened to command responsibility? Former DA Secretary Luis Lorenzo and his undersecretary Jocelyn “Jocjoc” Bolante are still in the list of those charged with the scam. With such a large amount of P728 million fertilizer fund is it possible that they were the ONLY ones responsible with full confidence to release this without approval or go-signal from higher authorities like the President, the chief executive who implements such projects? Maybe a credible explanation is in order by the Ombudsman.

Filed in: Editorial, Opinion

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