Roque wants longer jail term for outgoing NFA administrator
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque wanted outgoing National Food Authority (NFA) Administrator Jason Aquino to be in jail for allegedly creating the rice mess in the country.
Roque said he was willing to file charges against Aquino if no one would intend to file a case against the NFA official.
He said Aquino was guilty of technical malversation after a Commission on Audit (COA) report showed he did not use the NFA’s budget to buy buffer stock from local producers.
“Ang sinabi ko: Kung walang magpa-file, ako mismo ang magpa-file. At hindi lang for technical malversation, pa-file-an ko rin siya ng graft. Because causing injury to the public and to the government is also a graft,” he said.
(What I’m saying: If noe one wants to file a case, I will be the one to file it. And not only for technical malversation, I will also file graft. Because causing injury to the public and to the government is also a graft.)
“At dahil hindi nga niya ginastos iyong pera para bumili galing sa mga lokal na mga magsasaka para may buffer stock tayo, nag-aangkat tayo ngayon at nagbibigay ng pera sa mga dayuhang mga magsasaka,” he added.
(And because he did not spend the money to buy rice from the local farmers for our buffer stock, we are importing rice and giving out money to foreign farmers.)
“So, hindi lang ho technical malversation ang isasampa ko sa kaniya kung walang ibang magsasampa, graft and corruption din po. To set the record straight, mas marami pa po akong isasampa.”
(So, this is not just technical malversation that I will file against him if no one wants to file a case, I will file graft and corruption as well. I will file a lot more.)
The Palace official said he wanted Aquino to be in jail.
“Maliit lang po ang parusa sa technical malversation. Gusto ko iyong matagal ang kulong,” he said.
(Technical malversation has a mild penalty. What I want is a case that has a longer prison term.)
Roque vowed to look into the case of Aquino.
“I have not accused him of actual financial graft because I do not know. However, I promise to look into it soon,” he said.
Asked if the President shares the same position, Roque said, “probably not, but this has been confirmed by the Commission on Audit.”
President Rodrigo Duterte had earlier said Aquino asked him to be relieved as NFA administrator becuase he was already “tired” and could not cope up with the dynamics in the agency. /jpv
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