MANILA, Philippines - Five rice traders and members of farmers' cooperatives facing contempt charges in the Senate surrendered to the Office of the Sergeant-at-Arms on Wednesday.
Emily Alabado, Juanito David, Maximo Hernandez, Elpidio Mendoza, and Crisanta Reyes went to the Senate accompanied by Mayor Jerry Pelayo of Candaba Pampanga.
They are among the 20 people whom the Senate agriculture and food committee cited in contempt and ordered arrested for failing to attend its last hearing on rice smuggling.
Pelayo said the 5, who surrendered voluntarily, are not involved in smuggling, but may help authorities identify the big personalities behind it.
“Ang pag-surrender ng limang ito ang magbubukas at magapausad sa imbestigasyon,” he said. “Kung titingnan mo, ang mga ito walang kapasidad na mag-import at sumali sa bidding at importation ng rice.”