Jocelyn “Joc-joc” Bolante, former Undersecretary of the Department of Agriculture, was a native of Dao, Capiz. Born on August 27, 1951. His parents are Vicente Bolante, Sr. and Salvacion Isada (both deceased). His siblings were Vicente Jr., Anabelle and Cecilia. Anabelle and Cecilia live in Iloilo, while Vicente Jr. stayed at their family’s ancestral home at Poblacion, Dao, Capiz. Joc joc resides at Ayala Alabang Village in Muntinlupa City.
In the year 2001, Joc-Joc Bolante was appointed by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo as Agriculture Undersecretary for Finance and Administration. Performed his duty for nearly 3 years and then decided to resign on September 6, 2004. In his letter he stated that he is unable to give his full allegiance to the Department of Agriculture (DA) post because of his function as elected Board of Directors of Rotary International for Asia and Pacific Region. He was also connected to GSIS as one of the boards after his resignation.
Bolante is tagged as the brains of the P728-million fertilizer fund scam. According to him, this fund was approved by DBM and taken from the DA’s 2003 budget and distributed to local government officials (105 congressmen, 53 governors, 23 mayors) as project proponents two weeks before the 2004 elections, and was believed to have been diverted to the campaign pot of President Gloria Arroyo.
On August 23, 2005 in a privilege speech of Makati Rep. Teddy Boy Locsin he says that when he and Rep. Cynthia Villar complained to Bolante that that fertilizers had been bought in their names and later converted to cash, Bolante ignored them: “This statement initiated to investigate the so-called fertilizer scam. And on October 6, 2005 the Senate starts its investigation on this query.
Bolante, a close ally of First Gentleman Jose Miguel “Mike” Arroyo, rashly fled to the US at the height of the Senate hearings on the fertilizer fund in 2005 and has not been accused despite of criminal complaints filed against him before the Office of the Ombudsman.
In US, he was arrested by the authorities for using a cancelled visa last July 7, 2006. US authorities refused his petition for asylum and withholding of removal on February 9, 2007 and deported him.
For almost 3 years stay at US, he arrived in Manila on Oct. 28, 2008. In his comeback, the Senate with Sen. Roxas request – orders anew the arrest of Bolante on December 3, 2008. And he was arrested in Makati.
The Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) freezed Joc joc Bolante’s 32 bank accounts related to the fertilizer scam fund on July 3, 2008 through the order of Court of Appeals but expired last December 20, 2008. However in 32 now “unfrozen” accounts only 4 belongs to him, this is according to Bolante.
Last December 19, 2008 he took time visiting his family, relatives and friends at Dao, Capiz . He attended the birthday of his brother Vicente Jr. and the Christmas party of Dao town officials and employees at Lolets Eco Park at Brgy. Duyoc in this town with the invitation of Mayor Joselito “Bobo” Escutin.
Joc-joc also set a meeting with his friends and supporters at Villa Patria, Arnaldo Boulevard Roxas City last January 9. Bolante is being pushed by supporters majority from KAMPI to run for Congressman in the 1st District of Capiz in 2010 election (not in the 2nd District as earlier report) against his accusers Congressman Antonio del Rosario of the 1st District and Sen. Mar Roxas.
Bolante guaranteed in giving support to whomever Del Rosario’s opponent if he will not enter politics.
During the hearing on the P728-million fertilizer fund scam at the House of Representative, Capiz Rep. Antonio del Rosario bared that of the P5 million offered to him, only 40 percent would be used for the purchase of fertilizer. Del Rosario said the offer was made by Jose Barredo (also an Ilonggo) and Maritess Aytona, alleged “runners” of then Agriculture undersecretary Jocelyn “Joc-Joc” Bolante, the accused mastermind of the multi-million scam.
Congressman Del Rosario dragged former Governor Vicente Bermejo, now Roxas City mayor, of having received the ‘fertilizers kick back’ however, Bermejo denied it saying that proper documents and lists of distribution had been made during his stint as governor.
To recall, Sen. Roxas also urged the Senate to act on his resolution calling for the convening of a Committee of the Whole to reopen its investigation into the fertilizer fund scam and summon Bolante back to testify on the issue upon his deportation from the United States.
A fire up of emotions among Capiznon…Bolante, Del Rosario, Bermejo and Sen. Mar Roxas…in the same place of origin and the same place of belief… where did they differ? Capiznons are looking for a good example of dignity, honesty and pride to tell and share to the next generations of Capiceños…
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