Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Monday, December 15, 2008

Witness’ safety worries Gordon

SENATOR Richard Gordon is “worried” about the safety of a certain Jimmy Paule who had been implicated in the alleged anomalous distribution of the P728-million fertilizer fund under the government’s Farm Inputs-Farm Implements (FIFI) project.

But Gordon urged Paule to come out and testify so that the Senate would be able to provide him protection while at the same time clearing his name of any involvement in the project.

“I worry for Mr. Paule,” said Gordon, chairman of the Senate blue ribbon committee probing the fertilizer fund scam, after receiving reports from the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) that there are at least five or seven “Jimmy Paule” in its database.

“There are several Jimmy Paules in the NBI’s records. It would be better if they would come forward and clear their names, otherwise they will remain suspects, and worse, put the lives of the innocents on the line,” he added.

Among all the names implicated in the fertilizer fund mess, Gordon explained that it is only Paule who has yet to reveal himself in public nor has made any contact with the Senate even during its first investigation during the 13th Congress.

Maritess Aytona and Leonicia Llarena have expressed intention to testify about their roles in the controversial project. Aytona has been implicated as Bolante’s runner, while Llarena was the financier. Paule was said to be the link between Aytona and Llarena.

Gordon said that if Paule has information in the alleged irregular FIFI project, that could be enough reason to fear that someone powerful -- or a well-oiled syndicate -- might be out to silence him as what happened to Marlene Esperat and Teofilo Mojica. By: Bernadette E. Tamayo - Journal online

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