Raps set vs BPI official, garlic ‘cartel queen’

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Justice Secretary Leila de Lima on Wednesday announced that criminal charges will be filed against 119 individuals, including Clarito Barron, a former head of the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI), and alleged onion-garlic cartel queen Lilia Matabang Cruz.

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De Lima said two sets of charges are to be lodged before the Department of Justice and the Office of the Ombudsman.

The group of Cruz, also known as Lea, according to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), cornered the onion and garlic trade from January to July 2014.

“We hope to stop this cartel after President Benigno Aquino 3rd ordered me to investigate it and to file corresponding charges,” de Lima told reporters in a news conference.

Barron is accused of receiving P240,000 cash as bribe in exchange for issuing four, at P60,000 each, import permits.

Also to be named in the charge sheet are Merle Bautista Palacpac, officer in charge of Plant Quarantine Service; and Luben Quijano Marasigan, former PQS chief and now quarantine officer assigned at North Harbor, Manila.

Barron, according to de Lima, is still connected with the Department of Agriculture.

Meanwhile, the Justice chief said Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala is also under investigation.

De Lima said the NBI’s Romulo Asis is gathering evidence against Alcala, including affidavits from witnesses.

Barron and the other government officials are to be charged with violations of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act; Revised Penal Code (direct bribery) and Presidential Decree 1829 (Penalizing Obstruction of Apprehension and Prosecution of Criminal Offenders) for their failure to cooperate in submitting needed documents and to appear before NBI probers.

Cruz is the president of Vegetable Importers, Exporters and Vendors Association of the Philippines (Vieva Phils.) Inc. with business address at Barangay Cojuangco, Santa Rosa, Nueva Ecija.

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2 Comments

  1. Salamat kahit pang election lang ang ginagawa ni delima sa huling taon niya.,may nababasang mabuti kahit pang showtime lang!nababasa lang!!
    Magaling talaga gumawa ng tele serye ito,noon di kinakasuhan ang mga ito!
    Wala pa akong nabalitaan na natapos na kaso, ampatuan massacre inabandona na ngayon ang dami gustong ipagyabang na gagawin, kaliwat kanan!!
    Sana ang ganitong tao ay wag manalo sa election!
    Sa movies puedi!best director!!hehehe!

  2. 119 people involved in just this one scam against this country. I have to say it again as its unbelievable, 119 people. Its like so easy for each individual to be corrupt in this country. Its like you filipinos cant help yourself. Are none of you honest. Tell me another country where they have so many people in every department or industry who are so easily corruptible. I find those figures staggering. Its like you all think its your right to be able to steal money from whoever you want. Then in your next breath you talk about god. Now that really makes me laugh. A religious thief, or 1000,s of religious thieves.