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Ex-Aggie chief in scam to turn state witness—Noynoy By Aytch S. de la Cruz 07/08/2010

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Cito Lorenzo, Aquino meet, talk

Ex-Aggie chief in scam to turn state witness—Noynoy

By Aytch S. de la Cruz

They met, they talked, but this meeting was never disclosed by President Aquino who only admitted the Lorenzo-Aquino meeting was disclosed publicly by a lawyer.

Aquino yesterday said that he may tap former Agriculture Secretary Cito Lorenzo as a “state witness.”
It was not clear why Aquino readily looked at Lorenzo as a state witness on the fertilizer fund scam as this case is supposed to be tackled by the Truth Commission which cannot grant state witness status to Lorenzo even if he testifies.

According to the rules, Lorenzo must first be charged in court for the crime before he can be made a state witness and only if he is found to be the “least guilty.”

To date, the Ombudsman has not acted on the recommendation of the Senate that had probed the fertilizer fund scam.

Lorenzo appears to have returned to the country very quietly, after his self-exile in the United States, to evade testifying before the Senate on the P728 million Fertilizer Fund Scam, to which he was involved, as he had approved it. 

The P728-million fertilizer fund was allegedly used to fund the 2004 presidential election bid of then President Gloria Arroyo.

Aquino did not deny reports that he had a brief conversation with Lorenzo which he claimed lasted for about two to three minutes and only during the birthday party of Boy Montelibano, husband of his cousin-in-law Maria Montelibano, last Saturday evening.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100708hed1.html


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