Man arrested for large-scale onion smuggling – Villar
MANILA, Philippines — A man accused of large-scale onion smuggling was arrested on Wednesday morning, according to Sen. Cynthia Villar.
Villar, the sponsor of the 2024 budget of the Department of Agriculture (DA), identified the smuggler as Jayson de Roxas Taculog.
“They said that they issued a warrant of arrest to Taculog and they have arrested him this morning so that’s good news,” Villar said during the Senate plenary debates on the 2024 DA budget.
Villar, speaking to Senate Minority Leader Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, said Taculog was caught smuggling 30 containers of onions. She added that 15 cases were filed against him, but most were dismissed by the court.
“That’s why I want [charges against smugglers] to be non-bailable. At least if the court dismisses him, he has experienced being in jail,” Villar said, speaking partly in Filipino.
“You know they are rich, they don’t want to go to jail so that is the provision of our anti-economic sabotage law.”
President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. earlier certified Senate Bill No. 2432 — the proposed Anti-Agricultural Economic Sabotage Act — as urgent.
The measure, which seeks to repeal the Anti-Agricultural Smuggling Act of 2016, aims to end acts of smuggling, hoarding, profiteering, and cartel of agricultural and fishery products.
Penalties for these crimes include life imprisonment and a fine thrice the value of the agricultural and fishery products involved.