Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. on Friday said there should be enough proof to validate it before making accusations.
Coloma raised the issue following allegations by a certain lawyer that Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala was leader of a rice cartel in his home province in Quezon.
“It is only reasonable that someone who makes an accusation should prepare a concrete basis especially if it persecutes the integrity of a public servant,” Coloma said in Filipino.
Lawyer Argee Guevarra, president of the Sanlakas party-list group, said that so-called smuggling king David Tan was merely fictitious and that the real rice smugglers were in the Department of Agriculture.
Guevarra said that he will come out with a list of the Quezon mafia members including the DA chief, but he has yet to complete gathering information on the issue.
The lawyer earlier filed a plunder complaint against Alcala and National Food Authority (NFA) Administrator Orlan Calayag over the alleged importation of overpriced rice from Vietnam.
Alcala has, meanwhile, maintained his innocence on Guevarra’s accusations and expressed that the lawyer should instead bring this to a proper forum. PNA