September 8, 2008 – 1:27p.m.
The peasant group that exposed the P728-million fertilizer scam slammed Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez for ‘protecting former Agriculture Undersecretary Jocelyn ‘Jocjoc’ Bolante.’
Danilo Ramos, secretary general of the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP-Philippine Peasant Movement) said, “Gonzalez really knows who to coddle, those who are indebted to the people and exploited the funds that should be for the benefit of the peasantry.”
The KMP has proposed a punishment for Bolante – to have the latter work in the farms for 4.85 million days or 13,296 years to make up for the P728 million. The group said each day’s work is equivalent to P150 day.
Ramos said, “It’s a compassionate punishment as he would not be incarcerated, but would work as a peasant.”
He said it would educate Bolante about the real state of the Filipino peasants. “It’s a kind offer, isn’t it?” Ramos said.
The group said they continue to monitor scams regarding agriculture such as the fertilizer scam, the swine and irrigation scam. These, they said, are added to the ‘database of Arroyo government’s crimes against the peasants.’
Ramos related that after testifying on the fertilizer scam, their members were either killed or harassed.
He cited Ofelia Rodriguez, 61, of Mexico, Pampanga who was killed on January 16, 2006 after she appeared on ABS-CBN for an interview regarding the fertilizer scam.
Meanwhile, Paul Simbulan of Porac, Pampanga, has been haunted by motorcycle-riding men since a week after he appeared on GMA-7 regarding the same issue. Other regional and national leaders of KMP have also been under surveillance, Ramos said. (Bulatlat.com)