Cops find NFA rice in Leyte village pit
TACLOBAN CITY—Police have found sacks of rice, possibly numbering as many as 500 and bearing the logo of the National Food Authority (NFA), a government agency, buried in a 2.4-meter deep pit in a remote village of Dagami town in Leyte province.
“With that kind of depth, which even our two patrol cars may fit in, it could be hundreds, even 500 sacks of rice,” according to Senior Insp. Anthony Florencio, the town’s police chief.
Mayor Abundio Delusa of Dagami, a third-class municipality (annual income: P35 million to P45 million) which was among the areas hit by Supertyphoon “Yolanda” (international name: Haiyan) two years ago, expressed shock when he learned about the incident, Florencio said.
“He told us to conduct a thorough investigation on the incident. He was upset,” the official said.
Assistant Director Henry Tristeza of the NFA regional office said the agency was already aware of the incident and it would come up with its own report. He said its investigators had yet to trace the origin of the sacks.
“Rice is life. We don’t just throw or dump rice unless its toxicity level is high. It is not the policy of the NFA to do that. These spoiled rice could still be used as animal feeds or even fertilizer,” he said.
Tristeza acknowledged that the rice were from the NFA, but he added that plastic bags with markings of the Department of Social Welfare and Development were also retrieved.
Florencio said his men found the sacks of rice in Barangay Maca-alang last week through information relayed by a villager. The dump is 50 m away from the center of Maca-alang, which is about 20 kilometers away from the town center.
The pit measures 3 m wide, 4.6 m long and 2.4 m deep, enough to accommodate even two police service vehicles, he said. Joey Gabieta, Inquirer Visayas
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