• Inquiry into P15M NFA extortion pushed

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    AN INQUIRY into allegations of extortion by National Food Authority (NFA) Administrator Arthur Juan has been pushed in the House of Representatives.

    Rep. Elpidio Barzaga filed a resolution directing the House Committee on Good Government and Public Accountability to look into the allegations of rice trader Jojo Soliman that Juan extorted P15 million from him.

    Soliman claimed that Juan instructed him to deposit P10 million in two different bank accounts purportedly to be given to Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas 2nd and Food Security Secretary Francis Pangilinan.

    The money was supposedly in exchange for the dropping of charges against Soliman and for allowing his warehouse in Bulacan to reopen.

    “Such serious allegations against the NFA chief [that]also implicated two Cabinet officials merit congressional inquiry to determine whether there is a need for corrective legislation or stringent measures so that public officers would be held accountable at all times and beyond reproach from allegations of bribery and extortion,” Barzaga pointed out.

    Malacañang deputy spokesperson Abigail Valte earlier said the Palace will not ax Juan just yet pending investigation.

    “You need to prove that the money went to the people you are accusing. The investigators will have their methods to verify these documents. We’ll wait for the results of the investigation,” Valte added.

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