CIDG, NFA uncover rice rebagging at trader’s warehouse
NAGA CITY—A joint team from the Philippine National Police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) and the National Food Authority (NFA) has seized 503 sacks of NFA rice imported from Vietnam that were being rebagged as commercial rice in a warehouse located along Maharlika Highway in Barangay (village) Mabulo in this city last week.
Chief Insp. Errol Garchitorena Jr., CIDG chief in Camarines Sur province, said lawmen confiscated the NFA rice being transferred from sacks with NFA inscriptions to plain blue sacks following a raid noon on Monday in the warehouse of Sweet Fortune Commercial along Zone 6, Mabulo Drive here.
Sweet Fortune Commercial is a subsidiary of JY Brothers, a trading establishment that owns the compound where the warehouse is located, said Garchitorena.
He said Sweet Fortune Commercial is registered under the name of Sarah Jane Tecklo Yao, who did not show up when they confiscated the NFA rice.
The Inquirer tried to get the side of Jerbert Yao, one of the owners of JY Brothers, but the guard at the firm’s compound said he was not around.
Garchitorena said they turned over the confiscated rice to the NFA, which has the authority to file the case against the owners of the confiscated rice. Also seized were the logbook and documents that confirm the entry of NFA rice into the warehouse, he added.
According to Garchitorena, he could recall only two names from the list of persons who sold NFA rice to Sweet Fortune Commercial—a certain Amy Reyes and another named Sagat, both registered NFA retailers in Camarines Sur.
NFA-Camarines Sur Assistant Manager Nora Follosco said the rice seized at the JY Brothers compound was part of the recently delivered imported rice from Vietnam, which is being sold at P30 per kilo to registered NFA rice retailers who, in turn, sell them at P32 per kilo.
At P32 per kilo, each 50-kilo sack would have cost P1,600, or P804,800 for the 503 sacks. But if passed off as commercial rice, which currently sells at P40 to P46 per kilo in public markets here, each sack could fetch a price of P2,000 to P2,300 for a total between P1.006 million and P1.2 million.
Follosco said Camarines Sur had received more than 400,000 sacks of imported rice from Vietnam so far this year, including those intended for Typhoon “Glenda” victims.
Edna De Guzman, manager of the NFA in Camarines Sur, said by phone on Wednesday that they would file an “illegal possession of NFA rice” case against the trader who owned the confiscated rice.
Garchitorena said the inspection-visit of the CIDG-NFA personnel was launched three months after the CIDG was ordered to monitor and investigate rice hoarding. It also came after weeks of surveillance of warehouses where NFA rice was being stored.
Last week, CIDG agents were able to confirm the continuous entry of trucks loaded with NFA rice at the JY Brothers compound, which prompted Monday’s visit-inspection that exposed the rebagging of NFA rice so it could be passed off as commercial rice.
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