NBI ordered to probe rice import scam

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JUSTICE Secretary Leila de Lima has ordered the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to investigate allegations that National Food Authority (NFA) officials were involved in the “overpricing” of imported rice.

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In an October 12, 2013 memorandum to NBI officer-in-charge Medardo Delemos, de Lima specifically directed the formation of “a special team to investigate and examine the rice importation scheme of the NFA” as contained in a letter sent by activist lawyer Argee Guevarra on September 1, 2013 to the Department of Justice (DOJ).

Delemos was given 15 days from receipt of the memo to submit an initial report on Guevarra’s allegations.

Guevarra bared the irregularities in the importation by NFA of 205,700 metric tons of rice in April this year.

De Lima cited the questionable importation of 187,000 metric tons (plus an additional 18,700) of rice under a government-to-government transaction which was “overpriced by as much as 450 million for a single transaction,” based on Guevarra’s letter.

The lawyer said that the importation of rice “may be a continuation of the profiteering scams which started during the Arroyo administration” because of the suspicious circumstances surrounding the importation.

Because the NBI is now scrutinizing the alleged rice importation irregularities, Guevarra reiterated his challenge to other members of the NFA Council to oppose “the efforts of [NFA Administrator Orlan Calayag and Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala] to pursue a rice importation policy that clearly does not benefit our people.”

“G2G [government to government]importation benefits no one––except maybe those who stand to profit from it,” he pointed out.

Alcala and Calayag have been pushing for additional government-funded rice importation in light of the legislative inquiries into the scheme, which experts have branded as grossly disadvantageous to the government.

The NFA Council is chaired by the DA Secretary, while the NFA Administrator sits as vice chairperson. Other council members are from other government agencies.

“[NFA Council members] should not allow themselves to become unwitting accomplices of Alcala and Calayag [as congressional inquiries]have raised more questions about the rationale behind government-led rice importation.

If Council members are not careful, they may be dragged into this mess,” Guevarra said.

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4 Comments

  1. Frederick Atulas on

    These investigations should be vigilantly monitored,most of the time these news-grabbing issues are only good at the start then fizzles out with no conclusion. How much money have we recovered from big time issues like the “Generals of the AFP” who we’re given ‘pabaon’ when they retired? Or the millions of misdeclared luxury cars at Customs? Or the infrastructure projects that never materialized? I urge the media to continue with the news about these and not let them swept under the rug AGAIN!

  2. Arch.Angel(Lito) Lingan Mallonga on

    This is just the way they all do it in the Philippines as they say ONLY IN THE PHILIPPINES. Abuses by our leaders at the expense of ordinary tax payers. SHAME SHAME ON YOU SAID OFFICIALS & LEADERS who only think about themselves. What will happen now with this grandstanding NEPOLES case. If up to his time the case of all those being killed killed Media people on the AMPUTAN Case nothing has been put to jail. Much more with all the heavyweights political leaders now involved. We can have all the good laws passed in Congress and Senate but if they are not implemented its nothing but just papers that we just put them into the wastebasket.Laws that are just being manipulated by our said HONORABLE LEADERS to pretend protecting our ordinary people specially our taxpayers. There are still hope for the Philippines through the MEDIA Reporters and hope that all the owners of big and small newspapers will support them on what they write and not sensor them before they are to be published. Let the people know what is going on. That is the bottom line!!!!

  3. Why do you need to mention corona’s name, everyone in the higher ups get their rice allowance
    Corona is nothing compare to billions and billions they steal from poor kababayans
    who work so hard for a living and yet get to pay the taxes. Sana mag resign na ang lahat na corrupt politicos inc the matuwid na daan. Propaganda Lang pala. Pinanunuhol ang kaban ng bayan

  4. it would be great if we all had jobs that gave us a yearly rice allowance, ex c.j. corona had a P20,000 a year rice allowance. How much allowance does each government official get. They dont care about the people of this country. Its them & us & as long as us are ok then everything is ok. That 20,000 equates to P384 per week, thats a days pay for millions of people. Ask them if they have that much allowance for rice, they dont they get a flat pay. Then recently we heard the people from the sss were given million pesos bonuses. If that was just P1,000,000 it works out as P19,230 per week. Millions of pinoys dont earn that per month. Can you start to see this. Come on people stand up & demand change from the top. these people have made fools of you for to long stand for it no more.