• Anti-graft court scored over inaction on former NFA chief’s case

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    SEN. Alan Peter Cayetano’s proposal to create a special court that would exclusively hear plunder and other graft related cases involving top government officials have been met with a roar of approval by various cause-oriented groups and the public.

    However, some concerned citizens have expressed dismay over what they described as the slow pace by which the Office of the Ombudsman has been resolving the cases lodged before its office.

    “Kahit pa may special court kung ang mismong tanggapan naman ng ang hindi umaaksyon para resolbahin ang mga kaso ay tiyak na mababalewala rin ang inisyatibang iyon,” Mike Domingo, convenor of anti-corruption watchdog People for Empowerment and Truth (PET) said in a statement.

    Domingo particularly cited the case of former National Food Authority (NFA) Administrator Lito Banayo who together with other individuals were recommended charged last year by the senators before the Office of the Ombudsman.

    “We are really frustrated because up to now, we are still waiting for the Ombudsman to act on the cases filed against former Administrator Banayo. It appears that it has been gathering dust and it’s a matter of concern especially now that a new probe on rice smuggling is being conducted by the Senate,” he averred.

    Banayo was recommended charged with violation of Republic Act (RA) 3019 or the anti-graft and corrupt practices act for his alleged involvement in the operation of a “rice cartel” responsible for rampant rice smuggling in the country some two years ago.

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