CEBU CITY―The Office of the Ombudsman-Visayas has received a request to investigate the officials of the National Food Authority in Cebu over the alleged anomalous importation of rice.
In his letter-complaint addressed to Deputy Ombudsman for the Visayas Paul Elmer Clemente, Neil Bacungan of Barangay Mabolo, this city, asked to probe the complicity of NFA Cebu Provincial Manager Grace A. Rodriguez for the commission of graft and corruption, betrayal of public trust, and plunder by NFA Administrator Jason Aquino.
“A certain Jojo Caringal and another person named Jasper Zuñiga have been asking P50 to P100 per sack from local rice importers as a condition for the issuance of import permits with bloated quotas. This was carried out at the behest of NFA Administrator Jason Aquino. A certain Ritchie Carpio, the executive assistant of Aquino, receives the money,” Bacungan claimed.
Bacungan said although Rodriguez said she did it under protest, she complied with Aquino’s order facilitating the entry of the imported rice.
Citing the Minimum Access Volume (MAV) Guidelines, Bacungan said the NFA is obliged to publish on its website the list of eligible importers and their allocations.
He said the NFA management failed to publish eligible importers violating the 2017 MAV Guidelines.