31 charged for alleged rice smuggling via Legazpi port

By Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 10 2013 04:10 PM | Updated as of Jan 11 2013 12:10 AM

MANILA - The Bureau of Customs (BOC) filed smuggling charges against 31 officers of 4 Central Luzon-based multi-purpose cooperatives for allegedly attempting to smuggle in thousands of sacks of rice from Vietnam worth P93.6 million.

Charged before the Dept. of Justice (DOJ) on Thursday were Pampanga-based Kapatirang Takusa Multi-purpose Cooperative Directors Orlando Manimbot, Juanito Mangilit, Joseph Guevarra, Alfredo Manimbo, Tommy Navarro, Jaime Bitangcol, and Efren Bulaon for allegedly smuggling in 21,000 bags of "hot rice" rice worth P25.20 million.

Emily Alabado, Christopher Hernandez, Editha Alabado, Teresita Manlastas, Arly Guevarra, Luciano Alabado, and Santiago Francisco of the Ugnayan Magbubukid ng San Isidro Cooperative were charged for bringing in 21,000 bags of rice worth P25.20 million.

The officers of Bulacan-based Malampampang Concerned Citizens Multi-purpose Cooperative namely, Cipriano Evangelista, Ernesto Gonzalez, Guillermo Marcelo, Edgardo Evangelista, Henry Ochoco, Milagros Pelayo, Nelson Evangelista, Arden Evangelista, and Jessie Dela Cruz were charged for bringing in 18,000 sacks of rice worth P21.60 million.

Respondents Maximo Hernancez, John Ray Retobado, Ponciano Hernandez, Dominador Lalu, Felipe Mangilit, Michael Manliclic, and Danilo Santos of Samahang Magsasaka Kapampangan at Katagalogan Multi-purpose Cooperative were charged for bringing in 18,000 sacks of rice amounting to P21.60 million.

Customs Commissioner Ruffy Biazon bared that these rice shipments totalling 78,000 sacks arrived at the Port of Legazpi City, Bicol in the same boat of Sept. 2, 2012, and allegedly did not have the required import permits, in violation of the Tariffs and Customs Code.