Farmers vow to continue seeking justice on fertilizer fund scam

A farmer-lawmaker today said they will continue seeking justice on the P728 million fertilizer fund scam after Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez tendered her resignation.


“After Gutierrez’s resignation that forms part of her continuing obstruction of justice on the fertilizer fund scam, we will continue to seek justice for the victims of (former President Gloria) Arroyo’s plunder,” says Anakpawis party-list Representative Rafael Mariano, who also chairs the peasant group Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas.


He said that their “lawyers are now studying all the evidences gathered in the aborted impeachment trial and are now studying all options including the filing of a plunder case against Arroyo and her cohorts before the justice department.”


“We will not allow Arroyo, the brains and ultimate beneficiary of the fertilizer fund scam, to simply evade criminal accountability,” Mariano said.


The activist lawmaker also said that the next Ombudsman must maintain independence from Malacanang in order to complete the task of giving justice to farmers deprived of the fertilizer funds.


“The next Ombudsman must have the strong political will, independence, and courage to prosecute Arroyo and her criminal gang, and even if it would lead to the doorsteps of the Palace,” Mariano said noting that “even close allies of President Aquino benefited from the funds.”


Immediately after the 2004 elections, the KMP filed a plunder case before the Ombudsman against former President Arroyo, former agriculture secretary Luis “Cito” Lorenzo, and Jocelyn “Joc-joc” Bolante, and other officials involved in the fertilizer fund scam. The Senate committee on agriculture in the 13th Congress and the Senate Blue Ribbon committee during the 14thCongress also recommended the filing of plunder charges against Lorenzo and Bolante.  #