Suspended NFA execs linked to other questionable transactions
Backs Ombudsman’s probe of rice deals

Suspended NFA execs linked to other questionable transactions – Marcos

/ 05:34 AM March 07, 2024

PHOTO: Ferdinand Marcos Jr. STORY: Suspended NFA execs, staff linked to other questionable transaction

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. meets with the Australian business community during the Philippine Bussiness Forum and Presentation of Bussiness Agreements at the ASEAN-Australia Special Summit in Melbourne, Australia on Monday, Mar. 4, 2024.(PPA POOL / NOEL PABALATE)

MELBOURNE — President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said the suspended officials and staff of the National Food Authority (NFA) had been involved in other questionable transactions where they acted on their own without the approval of higher authority.

Marcos gave his support to the decision made on Monday by Ombudsman Samuel Martires to put NFA Administrator Roderico Bioco and 138 officials and employees on preventive prevention for six months to make way for an investigation into the sale of NFA buffer rice stocks.


“The situation actually does not only involve the anomalous sale of NFA rice,” the President said in a video where he replied to questions from Philippine journalists covering his four-day visit here.


READ: NFA head, 138 others suspended over rice buffer stocks sale

“It also is an examination of some of the procedures within the NFA that were undertaken without board approval, without the proper discussion within the NFA and with the DA [Department of Agriculture] and with the rest of the Cabinet,” he said.

“So we have taken the safe measure of suspending all of those who have been shown to may have been involved in any of these wrongdoings, such as the anomalous sale [of buffer stocks] but also the cavalier way in which the procedures that have been set out in the rules have been ignored,” Marcos stressed.

Aside from the NFA chief, suspended by the Office of the Ombudsman were NFA Assistant Administrator for Operations John Robert Hermano, 12 regional managers, 26 branch managers, and 99 warehouse supervisors.

The antigraft body is looking into sale of 75,000 bags of rice that were part of the country’s buffer stocks to two rice traders for P93.75 million.

Agriculture Secretary Francisco Tiu Laurel Jr. said he would act as NFA officer in charge until the President appoints a new NFA administrator. The video was released by the Malacañang Presidential Communications Office on Wednesday night (Wednesday afternoon in Manila) after the President left Melbourne after the conclusion of the special summit between Australia and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.


The presidential party was expected to arrive in Manila late Wednesday night.

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TAGS: anomalous NFA rice sale, Ferdinand Marcos Jr., National Food Authority

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