Onion trader, 6 others face contempt raps for absence
The House agriculture and food committee has issued a show cause order directing an onion trader and six officials of cold storage companies to explain why they should not be cited in contempt for failing to show up at hearings on the prices of onions.
Of the seven personalities, six claimed to be sick or confined for various medical reasons, which prompted House agriculture panel chair Rep. Mark Enverga to quip: “So many are sick.”
In a hearing on Tuesday, Enverga noted the absences of the said personalities, who submitted medical certificates or explanations for their absences.
“So many are sick. I don’t want to prejudge this being the chair. But we will accord them the chance to explain,” the lawmaker said.
Absent during Tuesday’s hearing were onion trader Lilia Cruz; Mary Ann Lim and Grace Ong of Super 5 cold storage; Sherman Chan and Eric Pabelona of Tian Long cold storage; Vilma Camato formerly of Argo cold storage; and Marlene Lamata of Rivson storage.
Lim and Ong submitted medical certificates, which stated that Lim was advised to be on bed rest as she is five months pregnant, while Ong is positive for COVID-19.Pabelona was to undergo an eye operation in Hong Kong, Lamata has upper respiratory tract infection and Camato also submitted a medical certificate stating that she is unwell. On the other hand, Cruz is confined for bleeding.
House appropriations senior vice chair Rep. Stella Luz Quimbo moved for the committee to issue a show cause order to compel the absent personalities to explain themselves. INQ