Lapeña clears men of liability in rotten rice case
TACLOBAN CITY—Customs chief Isidro Lapeña absolved his men of any liability in connection with the 982 bags of rice which had been left to rot inside a warehouse here.
He said his men followed the process that was “quite long.”
Lapeña was in the city on Wednesday to inspect the bags of rice which were stored in a warehouse of the National Food Authority (NFA) at the port area.
He said that the Bureau of Customs office in Tacloban made the right decision to dump the bags of rice since these had been declared unfit for animal and human consumption.
No shipping documents
“There was a process. It was examined and it turned out it was no longer fit for human consumption, even for animal use,” Lapeña said.
He explained that items seized by customs were either auctioned off or donated.
The agency seized the bags of rice in July 2013 after its consignee, the A1 Milling Corp., failed to produce a shipping document from the NFA proving the legitimacy of its importation.
These were stored in an NFA warehouse that Supertyphoon “Yolanda” damaged on Nov. 8, 2013.—JOEY A. GABIETA
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