Malacañang to keep NFA chief

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The Palace is not passing judgment yet on National Food Authority (NFA) administrator Arturo Juan who has been accused of extorting P15 million from a businessman.

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Deputy Presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte challenged rice trader Jojo Soliman to prove his allegations that Juan demanded P15 million from him in exchange for the dropping of charges against him and reopening of his padlocked warehouse. Soliman was accused of mixing animal feeds with imported rice.

Soliman, in his sworn statement submitted to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) claimed that Juan and his assistant, lawyer Patricia Galang, called him up to ask P15 million. Juan reportedly told Soliman that P5 million of the money will go the Interior Secretary Mar Roxas while another P5 million will be given to President Assistant on Food Security Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan. The remaining P5 million will be Juan’s share.

The rice trader claimed that he deposited P10 million in two separate bank accounts, while P5 million was placed inside a paper bag and left under a table in a restaurant in Makati City.

Soliman claimed that he has deposit slips to prove that he did deposit the money.

But the Palace said such claims are not enough to prove Juan’s guilt.

“As for the bank documents, he [Soliman] should be able to prove that the account numbers where he made such deposits really belong to those people he is accusing of receiving payoffs. The deposit slips can’t be sufficient,” Valte, a lawyer, pointed out.

“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,” she said.

“This [investigation]is a chance for former NFA Administrator Juan to refute the allegations against him and present his evidence as well,” Valte added.

Juan was appointed to his post only in June this year. He submitted a courtesy resignation days after Soliman made his allegations, but it was rejected by Pangilinan.

Pangilinan expressed belief that the allegations against Juan were unfounded but he vowed to cooperate in the investigation of the NBI.

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6 Comments

  1. Why is the price of rice so expensive in the Philippines compared to other countries in Asia. Simple. Because the Aquino administration is so corrupt, super corrupt. Every batch of NFA imports is overpriced in the hundreds of millions of pesos, and this kickback is passed on to Filipino consumers through higher rice prices, of course.

    That’s why Abnoy will not let NFA Administrator Arturo Juan go even if he is accused of extorting P15 million from a rice trader, with the bribe money reported to be divided between Mar Roxas, Francis ‘Kiko’ Pangilinan and himself. In a transparent government, Abnoy could have suspended Juan while an investigation is going on. But in his weird, arrogant and corrupt world, what his real “bosses” think doesn’t really matter. Contrary to his campaign promise, he now thinks he is the boss, not the people of the Philippines.

  2. That’s an SOP in most of the government agencies when it comes to “lagayan” starting from barangay offices to municipalities and even to much higher government agencies/bureaus. Of course they will deny that there is an existing distribution of lagay but we all know that it is an SOP for them, before a paper could be declare as legal signatures should be affixed and that signatories are the higher ups.

  3. Hopefully this is not another case of Resign and Reject.
    A face-off between Juan and Soliman in court would settle the issue.

  4. I wouldnt believe a word these people say. If someone is trying to get money out of you its quite easy to entrap them. 1st of all who is on the other end of that phone if they called you, it could be me pretending to be the person you are accusing. 2nd always, always, always have a recording device ready on hand to record any call you make or receive. That will protect you 100%. But in this country so many people accuse others of trying to extort money from them. If i were in business i would prioritise security measures like recording my calls. It also protects you if someone accuses you of any wrongdoing also.

  5. Ask anybody who knows about how Tsinoys do business and they will tell you that scandals are avoided.If something can be “fixed” just do it because if business is smooth and good you can always make a profit.But this guy must have been pushed to the extreme or just being stupid.Why else will he put four generations worth of business in jeopardy? On the other hand the govt people are part of the cabal who uses strong arm tactics to extort large amount of money from those who are in their firing line.Why is the price of rice at an all time high of P47/kilo (this is not even the best variety,the cheaper variety is soggy & smelly).Why our rice prices are one of the most expensive in Asia?Who is benefiting from the billions of subsidy the govt is spending in support of the NFA and that of the DA’s support for the farmers.Singapore don’t even have farms and farmers but have cheaper rice than the Phils.