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Palace hands off on possible Bolante extradition

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By Joel Guinto
First Posted 15:34:00 09/03/2008

MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang is keeping its hands off the case of former agriculture undersecretary Jocelyn Bolante, who is in danger of being deported from United States after his request for political asylum there was denied.

“Hindi pwedeng makialam ang Malacañang dahil siya ay wala na sa gobyerno [Malacañang can’t intervene because he is no longer with government,” Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita said.

Bolante fled to the US after snubbing summons to appear before the Senate to answer allegations he funneled millions of pesos in fertilizer funds to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s campaign kitty in the 2004 elections.

After issuing a warrant for his arrest, the Senate requested the US to cancel Blante’s visa. The former official was then arrested and detained while his bid for asylum was heard.

Ermita said the government could give no assistance to Bolante other than the usual help it extends Filipino nationals abroad.

“We just have to go by the laws of the US. We cannot go over and above what’s called for,” Ermita said.

“As we read in the papers, he may be deported anytime. When he arrives, Mr. Bolante can face the music, or whatever may befall him,” he added.

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Written by joelguinto

WedUTC2008-09-03T08:31:47+00:00UTC09bUTCWed, 03 Sep 2008 08:31:47 +0000 22, 2006 at 12:45 am09

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