DAVAO CITY , Philippines – The mayor of Davao City has declared war on rice smugglers and has warned he is prepared to use lethal force.
“I want smuggling of rice in my city stopped. But if you still do not stop your smuggling activities, I will kill you,” Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte warned.
He said he does not want to see “even a single sack of rice smuggled in the city.”
“If still you refuse to stop smuggling rice into my city, then I will go to where you are and check on your warehouse using my visitorial rights. I will check on your electricity consumption, your books with the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and business licenses and everything,” Duterte warned.
He said he would do his best to unmask whoever is behind a certain David Tan, alleged to be behind large-scale smuggling activities in various ports all over the country.
A report of the Senate joint committee that investigated the existence of the rice smuggling cartel in the country had found that Tan was among the “financiers” of 26 cooperatives that cornered a big chunk of the rice importation of the National Food Authority.
Duterte said BIR Commissioner Kim Henares has called him up again regarding rice smugglers operating at the Davao City port.
He said he could delve into the rice smuggling issue because the national government through Henares sought his help to curb it.
Duterte also met yesterday with representatives from the Bureau of Customs, Philippine Ports Authority, Philippine Coast Guard and other agencies involved in port operations to discuss rice smuggling.