Philippine Daily Inquirer
LIPA CITY, BATANGAS—Leaders of Kaya Natin! (Yes we can!), a movement for good governance, have expressed hopes that the Senate inquiry into the P728-million fertilizer scam will lead to the criminal prosecution of its perpetrators.
"I'm happy that the Senate investigation on the fertilizer scam has pushed through after several years of waiting but I believe that the probe shouldn't end with the hearings but with the proper filing of charges against those that will be found guilty," said Mayor Jesse Robredo of Naga City.Robredo was responding to a question asked by a student leader in one of Friday's open forums of Kaya Natin's Caravan of Good Governance held on De La Salle University campuses in Dasmariñas, Cavite, and Batangas.Kaya Natin! was initially convened by the Ateneo de Manila University-School of Government.
It is headed by such multiawarded local executives as Robredo, Governors Grace Padaca of Isabela, Ed Panlilio of Pampanga and Teddy Baguilat Jr. of Ifugao and Mayor Sonia Lorenzo of San Isidro, Nueva Ecija.Robredo said he feared that the ongoing Senate hearings would end up like the previous inquiries, such as the NBN-ZTE deal where no one had so far been held accountable.
Lorenzo, whose province is a major rice producer, lamented that the fertilizer scam had shown how insensitive many government officials were to the plight of our farmers."This controversy is very close to my heart since while I regularly see that our farmers continue to subsist on very meager resources, one of the most important resource in their livelihood which is fertilizers is being used as a money-making venture by a few," she said.Lorenzo echoed Robredo's sentiment that the fertilizer scam investigation shouldn't simply be for show but it should be able to hold the guilty parties accountable.
Padaca reiterated the need for Filipinos to elect effective and ethical leaders in the 2010 elections and for young people to be involved actively in safeguarding the sanctity vote by volunteering to serve in poll watchdog groups."We cannot afford to elect government leaders that will just serve the selfish interests of a few and turn a blind eye to the plight of the millions of Filipinos who continue to live in poverty," Padaca said.
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