NFA apologizes to Ombudsman Martires for failing to give warehouse list

NFA apologizes to Ombudsman Martires for failing to give warehouse list

FILE PHOTO: Ombudsman Samuel Martires. INQUIRER FILES

MANILA, Philippines — The National Food Authority (NFA) apologized to Ombudsman Samuel Martires for its failure to provide the warehouse list requested by the Department of Agriculture (DA).

“The undersigned would also like to take this opportunity to convey his apologies on behalf of the agency in the course of submitting the warehouse library as requested by the DA,” NFA Officer-in-Charge and Administrator Larry Lacson said through a letter dated March 25.

“The inadvertence in providing the list was mainly due to the urgency of the request and not for anything else,” he added.

READ: Suspension of 23 NFA warehouse execs lifted

He then committed to Martires of the NFA’s full cooperation in the Ombudsman’s investigation, as well as the prompt submission of any required documents.

Meanwhile, along with the apology, the NFA had also furnished the office of the Ombudsman with a certification from its Administrative and General Services Department regarding the list of personnel who have been separated from service due to death, retirement, or are currently on leave for study or maternity purposes.

This is after alleged errors were discovered on the list of respondents it submitted to the DA, which was subsequently transmitted to the Office of the Ombudsman during its investigation into the controversial sale of buffer rice stocks.

The list allegedly included individuals who were no longer associated with the NFA.

Initially, 139 NFA employees and officials were placed under preventive suspension by the Ombudsman during the investigation into the food authority’s questionable sale of rice stocks.

But Ombudsman Samuel Martires reversed the suspension order for 23 NFA employees based on the investigators’ recommendation.

Martires, however, asserted that there were no errors in the list, but expressed optimism that more suspension will be recommended for lifting by investigators.

Meanwhile, the Office of the Ombudsman confirmed to that it has already received both the apology and the certification.