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Jan 26th
Home Columns Sen. Aquilino Q. Pimentel, Jr. Culprits Behind Illegal Diversion of NFA Rice Should Be Prosecuted – Senator Pimentel
Culprits Behind Illegal Diversion of NFA Rice Should Be Prosecuted – Senator Pimentel PDF Print E-mail
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Columns - This Week With Nene Pimentel
Wednesday, 12 March 2008 15:29
Senate Minority Leader Aquilino “Nene” Q. Pimentel, Jr. (PDP-Laban) today denounced the illegal diversion of 120,000 sacks of subsidized rice from the National Food Authority (NFA) to grains cartels and their sale at the retail market at commercial rates in Northern Mindanao.

Senator Pimentel said concerned insiders from the NFA furnished him with documents detailing the illegal activity and identifying the personalities involved.

He said the diverted NFA rice was repacked and sold at a retail price of P25 per kilo, instead of only P18 as prescribed by the NFA.

Senator Pimentel said that since President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was reported to have ordered agriculture and law-enforcement officials to investigate the matter, he would defer his plan to file a resolution for a Senate inquiry of the same.

“My own reaction is to allow President Arroyo to investigate this before the Senate comes into the picture,” he said.

“She must prosecute the crooks in the NFA Northern Mindanao who sold 120,000 sacks of NFA rice to corrupt cartels, depriving the people of affordable rice.”

Senator Pimentel said the authorities should also look into reports that rice procured by the Department of Education for the Food for School program is being stolen by corrupt officials and sold to commercial grains traders. One specific case of rice diversion was reported in Batangas.

Under the Food for School program, elementary school pupils from indigent families are given one kilo of rice each every day which they bring to their homes to ensure that there is something to eat for their families. # # #

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