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Bolante testimony ‘clear’–Palace

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By Joel Guinto
First Posted 16:15:00 11/14/2008

MANILA, Philippines — Whether or not Senators believe him, former agriculture undersecretary Jocelyn Bolante has made it clear that President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was not involved in the alleged diversion of P728 million in fertilizer funds to her campaign chest in 2004, Malacañang said Friday.

“Klaro naman [It’s clear]. He already said that the Palace or the President has nothing to do with it,” Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Lorelei Fajardo said in an interview on state-run Radyo ng Bayan.

“Kung meron tayong inaasahang marinig at di nila narinig [If they don’t hear what they expect to hear], they are kind of disappointed. If there are investigations, it’s clear that the intention is to find the truth and get information and evidence, let’s stick to that,” she said.

Senator Manuel “Mar” Roxas had described Bolante’s testimony as “unbelievable,” while Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago said he was “lying under oath.”

Bolante appeared before the Senate blue ribbon committee on Thursday, three years after he snubbed a previous investigation and sought asylum in the United States due to alleged threats to his life.

But the former government executive’s appeal for asylum in the US was denied and he was deported back to the country in late October.

Press Secretary Jesus Dureza said Bolante’s testimony was not discussed during the President’s trip to the US. Arroyo arrived in the country before dawn Friday.

“We were focused on work. We leave that to the Senate,” Dureza said in a news conference at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) upon the President’s arrival, which was also aired on radio.

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Written by joelguinto

FriUTC2008-11-14T08:32:03+00:00UTC11bUTCFri, 14 Nov 2008 08:32:03 +0000 22, 2006 at 12:45 am11

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