NFA chief should be fired, face charges: Kiko


Posted at Sep 12 2018 11:12 AM

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MANILA - National Food Authority chief Jason Aquino, who has asked to be removed from his post, should be fired and brought to court for possible graft charges, Sen. Francis Pangilinan said Wednesday.

"Charges should be filed against him. He has to answer how the buffer stocks, which mandated by law should be 30 days during lean months, is now down to 2 days. Saan napunta yung 28 days?" Pangilinan told ANC's Headstart.

"Twenty-eight days worth of rice is around P20 billion. Saan niya nilagay yun? Saan napunta yung P20 billion na NFA rice na ngayon pinipilahan ng ating mga kababayan dahil kulang? Seryoso ito. Milyon-milyon ang nagugutom dahil palpak or ginamit itong NFA rice," he said.

Asked if he sees possible collusion leading to the current situation, Pangilinan answered in the affirmative.

"The President said that rice traders are the reason why rice is going up. Unfortunately, the President has been given terrible advice on the rice problem and the rice crisis. Obviously, it’s from the NFA administrator," he said.

"The truth is the rice crisis or rice problem is rice traders manipulating the supply of rice in cahoots with corrupt NFA officials," he added.

Duterte in an interview with his chief legal counsel, Salvador Panelo, on Tuesday said Aquino has asked to be relieved from his post because "he's tired and cannot cope with laro (workings)" inside the NFA.

Calls for Aquino's resignation mounted amid rising prices of the state-subsidized rice and its dwindling supply in the market.