Desperately Seeking Joc-Joc

It’s a measure of how frantic we are to find somebody, anybody, to finally pin down the Arroyo administration on corruption charges that a lot of people, and not just journalists, went on a wild chase from the airport to St. Luke’s Hospital in an effort to track Jocelyn “Joc-Joc” Bolante the moment he arrived Tuesday night.

The media coverage was obsessive and frenetic and began even before Bolante left the U.S., with reporters tailing him on the plane (he was allegedly “upgraded” to business class). He seems to have been expecting it, and had his script all planned out. He came out looking distressed and ill, a shadow of his former self, according to reports. He was on a wheelchair going through the airport, escorted by Department of Justice personnel. He went through immigration looking wan and just about ready to croak.

Representatives of the Senate sergeant-at-arms served the arrest warrant on him (for ignoring its summons to testify on the fertilizer-fund scam) without incident. His security detail had to shove aside an unruly throng of media people to get him to a waiting ambulance and the mad pursuit was on.

Joc-Joc made a show of clutching his chest all throughout, just in case observers were wondering what was wrong with him. Manolo Quezon, on the scene at the hospital, found it strange that Bolante was not given any oxygen while in the ambulance, standard operating procedure for coronary cases. And many are asking why he was not brought to any of the nearer hospitals but to far-away St. Luke’s if he was really sick.

According to the Inquirer, Joc-Joc remains holed up in a suite at St. Luke’s together with members of his family. Militant demonstrators and civil-society types have been keeping up the pressure by continuously protesting in and around the hospital.

A Jun Lozada Joc-Joc isn’t, as he has kept mum since and has shown no inclination to talk. So much for the public’s hopes of reviving corruption charges against Arroyo. What exactly do we expect from him ? He appears to be a stand-up guy and is being well taken care of. He’s obviously not as garrulous as Lozada and, given his current cushy circumstances, will not want to displease the people presently looking after him. Even the Senate is not sure how he should be handled. I fear he has a well thought-out strategy for stonewalling and will only add to everyone’s frustrations with the way the Senate investigations have been thwarted at every turn.

But who knows ? Stranger things have happened and he might yet have a change of heart. Maybe he’ll find religion the way Lozada did. He’s supposedly an outstanding Rotarian. All he has to do, therefore, is refer to the first element of the Rotary four-way test of the things we say or do: Is it the truth ?

Kudos to Manolo Quezon, Arbet Bernardo and Jeric Peña for an outstanding work of new media journalism, complete with close-in video and real-time reporting via Plurk.

1 thought on “Desperately Seeking Joc-Joc”

  1. Malaki naman pala ang sakripisyo ni bolante at lubos na nakikiramay sa kalagayan ng mga magsasaka…

    …’yung ating Senior Undersecretary; si Jocjoc Bolante na iniwan ang kanyang napakataas na suweldo bilang CEO ng isang importanteng pre-need at insurance para magtrabaho kasama ng mga magsasaka…


    gloria considers herself a Rotarian and yet she lied, cheated, stole, and did a cover-up. bolante could easily follow in her footsteps and thus ignore the four-way test.

    When I was coming down the aisle or at the aisle, Jonathan notices that I greeted so many people by their first names. And he said. “Do you remember all the Rotarians by their first names?” I said, a lot of them because before I became a Senator or Vice President or President fighting for poverty alleviation. I was a Rotarian fighting for poverty alleviation. And I am happy to be able to see many of those Rotarians that we used to work together with here in this hall today.

    And because, I was a very active Rotarian President, My husband was a multi-awarded Rotary Club President. Rotary has also become a partner of my administration in fighting for change for the average Filipino in fighting for poverty alleviation. In my moving around the country and talking to the average Filipino, I can see that the change wished for indeed is in terms of poverty alleviation. In terms of a better life such as jobs, prices, livelihood, food on every table, shelter security, health, education.

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