THE Supreme Court (SC) stopped a Manila court from releasing a shipment of rice suspected to have been smuggled through the Port of Manila.
The High Court issued a temporary restraining order on Tuesday halting the implementation of the ruling of Manila Regional Trial Court Judge Cicero Jurado Jr. allowing the release of the rice shipment.
According to a well-placed source, the SC en banc decided to halt Jurado’s order because of the urgency of the petition and to prevent any irreparable injury that it may cause to the government.
The High Court also ordered Jurado and the owners of the shipment to comment on the tribunal’s order.
The District Collector of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) for the Port of Manila seized 480 shipping containers owned by Danilo Galang under the trading name of Hildegard Grains Enterprises.
The BOC refused to release the shipment because the importation was made without permits from the National Food Authority.
However, Jurado ordered the release of the staple, forcing the government to elevate the case before the SC.
Recently, Jurado was charged administratively before the SC by the Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura headed by Rosendo So.
The group is an umbrella organization of 33 federations and organizations.