Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Jail Bolante ‘runner’ — Gordon

FOR reneging on her promise to attend yesterday’s probe into the P728-million fertilizer fund scam, Maritess Aytona was ordered arrested by the Senate Blue Ribbon committee.

Sen. Richard Gordon, BRC chairman, said Aytona, an alleged runner of former agriculture undersecretary Jocelyn Bolante, would be detained at the Pasay City jail. He noted that she had not given a formal excuse for her absence.

“‘The committee will act on the continuous absence of Ms. Aytona and once the warrant of arrest is issued to her, I do not intend to bring her to the Senate where we are going to spend more money on witnesses who are trying to put the Senate into severe disrespect. And we will arrest her and put her into the Pasay jail. That is what we are going to do,” Gordon said.

The committee also ordered the arrest of three others - Julie Gregorio and Jaime Paule for their failure to testify, and Redentor Antolin for making a false testimony.

Gordon said they have not yet heard from Paule, an alleged financier in the Department of Agriculture’s fertilizer fund project. He noted that with several Jimmy Paules in the records of the National Bureau of Investigation, the agency is yet to identify and locate the “concerned” Jimmy Paule involved in the scam.

“The lawyer of Ms. Aytona, who made the connection between me and Ms. Aytona the first time that I met her a few weeks ago, was here earlier and he was again saying that he has already spoken with Ms. Aytona and that she promised to come last night but right now apparently she’s still having second thoughts coming here,” he said.

“Jimmy Paule continues to be evasive, there are apparently five or six Jimmy Paules recorded under the NBI, some of them wanted for different cases. However, we are fast getting close to identifying this gentleman, if I can still call him a gentleman,” Gordon added. By: Bernadette E. Tamayo - Journal online

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