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NFA officials behind rice scam should face charges - SINAG chairman
NFA officials behind rice scam should face charges - SINAG chairman
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NFA officials behind rice scam should face charges - SINAG chairman
by Ellicia Del Mundo03 March 2024

Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura (SINAG) chairman Rosendo So believes that charges should be filed against officials from the National Food Authority (NFA) who are behind the reported rice scam.

Agriculture Secretary Francisco Tiu Laurel recently ordered an investigation into the reported sale of NFA rice to traders at a disadvantageous price without public bidding.

"Ito, plunder iyan. Kapag napatunayan na nagkasala yung opisyal, dapat kasuhan," he told DZRH in an interview on Sunday, March 3.

The SINAG chairman said documents showed that NFA had sold more than 75,000 bags of milled rice, costing over P100 million.

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He added that NFA instructed to sell the "good quality" milled rice to traders.

"Walang nangyaring bidding. Tingin natin talagang may problema. Ayun pa lang na walang bidding," So said.

As per the SINAG chairman, NFA is only permitted to sell its buffer stock only when there is a calamity in the country.

"The rest, hindi pwedeng magbenta doon sa mga consumer," So continued.

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He mentioned that Senator Cnythia Villar and the social welfare department have tried to buy rice from the NFA.

"Maraming DSWD na naghahanap ng bigas pati si Senator Cynthia Villar, sabi niya, 'Ako nga, nag-ask ako ng assitance, walang maibigay ang NFA'. Tapos ngayon, nakita natin binenta pala sa miller. So, may problema talaga."

According to the SINAG chairman, NFA administrator Rod Bioco has been suspended amidst a pending investigation.

Last Friday, March 1, Bioco told DZRH in an interview that they only sold tons of milled rice to support their agency's day-to-day finances and also to prevent leftovers that could lead to disposal.

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He, however, clarified that he did not directly benefited in the rice sale.

Bioco also mentioned that they are ready to answer all inquiries "to straighten the matter."

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