Palace urges courts to act swiftly on smuggling cases | Inquirer News

Palace urges courts to act swiftly on smuggling cases

By: - Reporter / @MAgerINQ
/ 02:49 PM February 05, 2014

Senate President Franklin Drilon. PRIB FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—Senate President Franklin Drilon on Wednesday backed Malacañang’s call for a speedy resolution of rice smuggling cases, saying that slow disposition of the cases was an “injustice to the Filipino farmers.”

“The slow disposition of smuggling related cases only results in smugglers being more brazen in carrying out their illegal activities. The speedy prosecution and resolution of smuggling cases will be the most potent warning against those who seek to violate our laws,”  Drilon  said in  a statement.


“We must show that the wheels of justice are moving vigorously against smugglers,”  he added.


Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr., head of the Presidential Communications Operations Office,  has called on the judiciary to act faster on 157 cases of alleged rice smuggling filed in the Court of Appeals since 2010.

“Smuggling is hurting our economy and it is hurting severely the livelihood of our poor rural farmers, who spend their entire days toiling under the sun to ensure that we would have food on our table, only to be thwarted by those who engage in rice smuggling,” said Drilon.

He said it is important that the three branches of government work hand-in-hand in dealing with the problem of smuggling in the country.  Each of them, he said, must be able to move at the same fast pace “in order to effectively arrest smuggling and provide justice to the farmers, who are the very victims of these unscrupulous activities.”

“The government needs to show that the full force of its powers are working against those who would conduct smuggling of rice and other commodities, and that rigorous investigations and full prosecution under the law await anyone involved in this illegal trade,” Drilon said.

“Let us go after these hoodlums by strengthening our laws, by providing assistance to our law enforcers, and by addressing the backlog of cases in our courts and ensuring a speedy delivery of justice,” he further said.

The Senate leader assured that Congress would be relentless in its resolve “to go to the bottom of the issue.”



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