Press Release
September 14, 2006


With its plan to lodge a diplomatic protest against the United States over the arrest of former agriculture undersecretary Jocelyn Joc-joc Bolante, Malacañang s slip is starting to show again.

Sen. Panfilo Lacson said Thursday that the plan, as bared in Brussels by Sen. Miriam Santiago, belies Malacañang s repeated claims that it will not assist Bolante other than giving him the mandatory consular assistance.

Their slips are now showing. It only proves that no matter how they camouflage, their true colors will show. No matter how Malacañang proclaims they dont have anything to do with Bolante, their true sentiment will prevail in the end or at least when the heat starts to radiate towards their direction, Lacson said.

Lacson also raised the question of who is paying Bolantes legal fees, noting that Bolante had contracted the services of Azulay, Horn and Seiden LLC, said to be among the biggest law firms in the United States.

Human rights lawyer Harry Roque Jr. had said one would need to have access to billions of pesos to avail of the services of this firm, which he said charges by the hour.

Who is assisting Bolante in paying all his legal fees to the fourth biggest law firm in the US? Lacson asked.

Reports from Brussels quoted Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) secretary Alberto Romulo as saying the plan stemmed from the recommendation of Sen. Santiago, who joined President Arroyo in a five-nation, nine-day trip.

Bolante, who was embroiled in a P728-million fertilizer fund scam, was arrested in Los Angeles July 7, on the basis of a cancelled B1/B2 visa. The action stemmed from a Senate arrest order for Bolante, for repeatedly snubbing Senate hearings on the scams.

As for Sen. Santiago, Lacson said her recommendation to Malacañang shows there is no doubt she is a Malacañang ally.

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