Raps filed vs 40 onion smugglers, price manipulators — DA
MANILA, Philippines — Cases have so far been filed against 40 onion smugglers and price manipulators, the Department of Agriculture (DA) disclosed on Thursday.
During the Senate subcommittee on finance’s hearing on the proposed P167.5-billion budget of the DA for next year, Senator Risa Hontiveros asked the agency on what they are doing to penalize smugglers and price manipulators.
According to DA Undersecretary Mercedita Sombilla, their officials are now inspecting warehouses and if anomalies are observed, cases are immediately pushed.
Sombilla then passed the ball to Assistant Secretary James Layug who told Hontiveros that they have now filed 40 cases against these erring entities.
“Right now, we [have] filed 40 cases already under the Anti-Agricultural Smuggling Act. Another 10 under the Food Safety Act, and then another one under the violation of Meat Code,” said Layug.
“Lahat po yan ay nakasalang ngayon sa various local prosecution’s office like Bataan, Manila, and Batangas. We’re [also] coordinating with the special prosecutor’s office na ginawa ng DOJ specifically designed to handle smuggling cases po,” he added.
(All of those are now in various local prosecution’s offices like Bataan, Manila, and Batangas. We’re [also] coordinating with the special prosecutor’s office created by the DOJ specifically designed to handle smuggling cases.)
President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. previously castigated agricultural smugglers and hoarders, calling them cheaters who exploit farmers and consumers.
Upon hearing Layug’s answer, Hontiveros said that she was glad that the DA has started using the recently passed Anti-Agricultural Smuggling Economic Sabotage Law in “investigating, prosecuting, and successfully securing convictions” against wrongdoers.
“Out of the 40 cases filed sa Manila ay nagkaroon tayo ng success. Merong apat or five na sumampa na at there’s a warrant of arrest already for the consignee noong onion and other agricultural products,” Layug told Hontiveros.
(Out of the 40 cases filed in Manila, some were already a success. There are four or five that have already passed and there’s a warrant of arrest already for the consignee of the onion and other agricultural products.)