THE PCIJ was able to secure copies of documents in relation to the arrest and continuing detention of former agriculture undersecretary Jocelyn “Joc-Joc” Bolante in the U.S., which, until early this week, had remained shrouded in mystery.
Last Monday’s news, however, revealed the official reason behind Bolante’s arrest last July 8 upon his arrival in Los Angeles, with the U.S. Embassy in Manila revoking his tourist (B1/B2) visa in light of the arrest warrant issued by the Senate for his role in the P728-million fertilizer fund scam.
Two letters from the Consular Section of the American embassy both signed by Karen Waltz Davis, Fraud Prevention Unit (FPU) manager, notified Bolante about the revocation of his visa, rendering it not valid for travel. The first notice was dated February 15, 2006 (download here), the second, March 20, 2006 (download here).
What is interesting is that despite these notices, Bolante, in his sworn statement, denied having any knowledge that his visa was cancelled. Read the three-page affidavit he issued before immigration officer Rene Arambulo.
Meanwhile, Bolante’s case has been transferred from the Northern District of Illinois to the Eastern District of Wisconsin, where it is assigned a new index number (06CV00907). As a matter of pubic interest, we will try to get hold of copies of pertinent documents as his case progresses.