First big score!
Such was the intro of the Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel “Manny” Piñol on his Facebook post this 11th day of October, 2018.
He was referring to the first major accomplishment of the government team involved in the campaign against rice hoarding — after suspected hoarders were arrested and around 40,000 bags of rice were seized.
Piñol shared that two Iligan City-based rice traders, one of them a Taiwanese national, were arrested yesterday by a composite government team for alleged hoarding of 40,000 bags of rice and charged with hoarding, involvement in cartel operations and profiteering.
National Food Authority (NFA) Acting Administrator Tomas Escarez reportedly disclosed that the rice stocks of businessmen Sonia C. Payan, a Filipino-Chinese, and Jhonny D. Tan, a Taiwanese, which were kept in four warehouses in Iligan City were seized by the government after it was found out that the documents in the possession of the two traders were inconsistent with their stock inventory and appeared spurious.
The two traders, according to Escarez, were the first to be arrested in the intensified campaign against rice hoarding as ordered by President Rodrigo Duterte.
Members of the Sub-Committee on Rice Hoarding, Cartel and Smuggling which include the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA), the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), the Bureau of Customs (BOC), the Philippine National Police (PNP), the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA), the Dept. of Trade and Industry (DTI), the Philippine Coast Guard, the Department of Labor and Employment and the NFA, swooped down on the four warehouses following reports of alleged hoarding by the two grains traders.
The NFA adjudication officer Sam Dimaporo and Chairperson of the Sub-Committee NFA Director Diane Silva of Region 10 together with ARD Buerano and all Reg X PMs conducted the adjudication proceedings.
Meanwhile, hundreds of netizens have expressed gratitude over Piñol’s update on rice hoarders and have emphasized that hoarders like the two arrested should face the consequences and be jailed.