�� Romualdez: House ready to cooperate with authorities on agri probe | Inquirer News

Romualdez: House ready to cooperate with authorities on agri probe

By: - Reporter / @JMangaluzINQ
/ 01:49 PM July 05, 2023

MANILA, Philippines — Speaker Martin Romualdez on Wednesday said that the House of Representatives is ready to cooperate with the authorities investigating agricultural smuggling.

Romualdez welcomed President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s order for the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) to go after agricultural smugglers, saying that it showed “the President’s resolve to clamp down on unscrupulous businessmen preying on hapless Filipino consumers.”

“The House of Representatives is ready to provide our authorities with the data uncovered from our committee hearings to provide them a head start in their own investigation,” Romualdez said in a statement.

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Marcos gave the instructions to the DOJ and the NBI upon the House of Representatives Committee on Agriculture and Food findings, which indicated evidence pointing to an onion cartel.

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READ: Marcos orders NBI, DOJ to go after smugglers of agricultural products

Romualdez also assured Marcos that the House would continue monitoring agricultural commodity prices.

“The President’s directive should be enough to deter further supply manipulation of agricultural products and help stabilize prices, especially amid reports that prices of onion are on the rise again,” Romualdez said.

Earlier, Marcos doubled down on his order, saying that he wanted a thorough investigation on the matter.

“I want them to finish it immediately. But it needs to be thorough, not half-baked. So let them do their investigation, there’s no particular focus. What we’ve been discussing, the basis, the issue is clearly about hoarding,” Marcos said during an impromptu interview in Pasay City.

Cavite Rep. Elpidio Barzaga Jr. also welcomed the President’s directive.

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“This demonstrates the Chief Executive’s dedication to safeguarding the public interest, particularly for ordinary consumers and farmers who work tirelessly to ensure we all have food on our tables,” Barzaga said.

He noted the President’s awareness of their hearings, stating, “The President’s directive is evidence that he has been following our proceedings and recognizes their significant contribution to breaking up the country’s largest onion cartel, thereby restoring agricultural product prices to their previous levels.”

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Romualdez prods authorities to pursue House probe leads on ‘onion cartel’

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TAGS: agri, Agriculture, Romualdez, Smuggling

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