‘Document links DA, NFA chiefs to smuggling’
Ding Cervantes (The Philippine Star) - January 27, 2014 - 12:00am

ANGELES CITY , Philippines   â€“ Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala and administrator Oscar Calayag of the National Food Authority (NFA) are being implicated in rice smuggling.

The Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) said Alcala and  Calayag made it appear that rice smugglers operate underground when, in fact, they had granted them import permits.

Willy Marbella, KMP deputy secretary-general, said the NFA could not have issued import permits to rice importers if they do not know the people behind them. Rice smugglers and their dummies likewise cannot secure an import permit if they don’t have connections to powerful and influential people like Alcala and Calayag, he said.

“Alcala and Calayag’s political role-playing is over. Calayag’s list shows that all along the NFA and the DA know the identity of rice smugglers because they are the ones who provided legal cover for them. Alcala and Calayag should now stop fooling the Filipino people.”

Marbella said the modus operandi of rice cartels and smugglers of using farmers’ cooperatives as dummies is an open secret inside the NFA.

“Obviously, this multimillion peso racket in the rice industry is happening with the blessings of the President for his favorite cabinet secretary,” he said.

The KMP furnished the media with a document that the NFA had submitted to the House of Representatives during the budget deliberations last year on the status of the importation of well-milled rice under the Country Specific Quota (CSQ) of 163,000 metric tons for the year 2013 undertaken by the private sector and farmers organizations.

Signed by Calayag, the two-page document states: “As of Sept. 3, 2013, we (NFA) were able to issue import permits (IP) to five entities out of 31 applicant importers.”

On top of the list of those import permits was Starcraft International Trading Corp. allegedly owned by Davidson Bangayan.

Also in the list were San Miguel MPC, Bold Bidder Marketing and General Mdse., Inter-Continental Grains International Trading, Inc., and Kwin Rice Trading.

The KMP said Bangayan was shown to be connected with Starcraft during the Senate committee on agriculture’s hearing last Wednesday.

“In the same hearing, Bold Bidder Marketing was mentioned by a Customs official for acquiring an injunction order from a court in Lemery, Batangas province even before the shipment ordered by the (Starcraft) company arrived,” KMP said.

The KMP said that “the farmers-as-importers program is nothing but a legal cover (for) rice cartels and smugglers to corner the big bulk of rice importation.”

“We demand that the DA and the NFA unmask the dummy farmer cooperatives in Calayag’s list and the rice cartels and smugglers behind them,” Marbella said.

The KMP said the current rice trade liberalization policy implemented by the government has turned the Philippines into a dumping ground of imported rice. – With Michael Punongbayan, Czeriza Valencia

AGRICULTURE SECRETARY PROCESO ALCALA ALCALA AND CALAYAG AS OF SEPT BOLD BIDDER MARKETING BOLD BIDDER MARKETING AND GENERAL MDSE CALAYAG COUNTRY SPECIFIC QUOTA CZERIZA VALENCIA DAVIDSON BANGAYAN RICE
  • Latest
  • Trending
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

SIGN IN
or sign in with
Read and share the latest news
whenever and wherever you are.
Top Stories
Features the most relevant stories,
exclusive content, analyses and special reports.
As It Happens
Get bite-sized highlights and up-to-date
information as the news breaks.
Latest
View the most recent
stories of the day.
Log-in
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet,
consectetur adipiscing elit.
Quisque justo est, auctor vel ullamcorper.
Log-in
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet,
consectetur adipiscing elit.
Quisque justo est, auctor vel ullamcorper.
How to follow As It Happens stories
STEP 1
Click the story in the As it Happens section.
How to follow As It Happens stories
STEP 2
Click "Follow Story" for updates on the news.
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Aliquam eu metus vitae felis tincidunt finibus ut id sapien. Integer volutpat dui eu malesuada dignissim. Sed varius justo nulla, fringilla convallis sem porta sed.
How to follow Author
STEP 1
Click on the author's name in the article.
How to follow Author
STEP 2
Once you click on the author's name, you will be
brought to the Authors page. Click "Follow Author"
to stay updated on the author's works
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Aliquam eu metus vitae felis tincidunt finibus ut id sapien. Integer volutpat dui eu malesuada dignissim. Sed varius justo nulla, fringilla convallis sem porta sed.
How to follow Tags
STEP 1
Click on a tag in the article.
How to follow Tags
STEP 2
When you click on a tag, it will take you to the
dedicated tag page where you'll see the article
viewed, along with other stories with that tag.

Click the "follow tag" button to stay updated on
the topic.
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Aliquam eu metus vitae felis tincidunt finibus ut id sapien. Integer volutpat dui eu malesuada dignissim. Sed varius justo nulla, fringilla convallis sem porta sed.