House to subpoena shopping center reps over spike in cost of agri products
MANILA, Philippines — The House of Representatives Agriculture and Food Committee on Tuesday approved the issuance of subpoenas to representatives of four large shopping centers.
Officials of the commercial establishments are being ordered by lawmakers to testify in the House investigation on possible smuggling, hoarding, and price manipulation of agricultural commodities, particularly onions.
Persons being summoned are those in charge of Puregold Price Club, Robinsons Supermarket, Gaisano Metro Retail Stores Group, Inc., and Super 8 Supermarket.
They were invited to the House panel hearing on Tuesday but failed to appear in the proceedings.
As a reaction, ACT-CIS party-list Representative Erwin Tulfo made a motion to require the attendance of the supermarket officials.
“If we sent an invitation and they did not show up, meaning hindi sila interesado sa imbestigasyon at tumulong dito sa ginagawa natin (they are not interested to help us with our investigation),” Tulfo said.
“Kung pwede, kaladkarin po natin dito para umattend. Akala po siguro, biro-biro ito. We are trying to fix a problem and this is a national problem,” he said.
(If we can, we will drag them here so they will attend. It may be seen as a joke.)
“Ang sibuyas ay ginagamit po pang araw araw na pang sahog sa mga ulam. We have to send them a subpoena,” he added.
(We use onions as condiments to our meals every day.)
Cavite Representative Elpidio Barzaga Jr seconded the motion.
Committee chairperson and Quezon Representative Wilfrido Mark Enverga approved the request and directed the committee secretary to draft the subpoena.
In February this year, the committee began its inquiry to determine the cause of the spike in the prices of onion and other agricultural products.