Senate orders arrest of 3 rice traders, Indian nationalBy Maila Ager
MANILA, Philippines—Three rice traders, including an Indian national, were ordered arrested and detained within 24 hours by the Senate for falsely testifying and refusing to answer questions of senators investigating the alleged massive rice smuggling in the country.
Ordered arrested and detained at the office of the Senate Sergeant at Arms were Jan Dexter Marfil of Masagana Import-Export Inc., Magdangal Diego Maralit Bayani III of St. Andrews Field and Cereals Trading and Prutik Guha, chief of executive officer of Indian company Amira Foods.
The arrest orders were issued by the agriculture, trade, and the blue ribbon committees that were investigating the rice smuggling.
The committees ordered the arrest and detention of Marfil for “falsely testifying” before the committee last September 12 in connection with his involvement in the importation of 90 container vans of Vietnam rice in Subic, for leaving the country and failure to attend the September 9 hearing without the committees’ approval, among others.
“Mr. Jan Dexter Marfil of Masagana Import-export Inc. is hereby cited in contempt of the Senate and ordered arrested and detained at the office of Sergeant at Arms until such time that he will appear before the committees and answer the proper questions of the senators truthfully and candidly regarding his involvement in the importation of 90 container vans of Vietnam rice,” the committees’ the committees’ secretary said, reading the order.
“The Sergeant At Arms is hereby directed to carry out and implement this order and make a return hereof within 24 hours from its enforcement.”
The committees also directed the Senate legal counsel to file appropriate charges against Marfil for violations of 183 and 84 on false testimony of the Revised Penal Code and other probable violations of the law and special laws.
Bayani on the other hand was ordered arrested “for refusing to answer proper questions of senators regarding his financing arrangements with his financiers” during last September 5 hearing of the committees.
He will be detained at the Office of the Senate Sergeant at Arms Office “until such time that he will answer the questions properly asked of him,” the order said.
In the case of Guha, the committees denied his motion for reconsideration on the arrest order issued by the committees last September 4.
“After a careful and a thorough review of the case, we find no merit in the arguments presented before the committees hence the motion for reconsideration is denied. The order dated September 4, 2012 is affirmed,” said the order.