By Jeffrey Damicog
The Department of Justice (DOJ) is set to evaluate the rice smuggling cases it is handling.
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra gave this assurance following appeals to file charges against rice smugglers to deter them from continuing with their illegal activities.
“The DOJ will evaluate all available evidence and will act accordingly,” the Secretary said Saturday (July 28).
Guevarra said he will personally check what cases are currently being investigated by the DOJ. “I’m checking if there are other rice smuggling cases being investigated,” he said.
Recently, Senator Cynthia Villar urged the DOJ and Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) to sanction at least one rice smuggler to show that the government is serious in implementing laws against rice smuggling.
Villar, chair the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food, echoed President Rodrigo Duterte’s warning against smugglers to “stop messing with the people” during his third State of the Nation Address (SONA).
“Nakikiusap tayo sa Department of Justice at sa Philippine Competition Commission na sana kahit isa lang mag-sample para naman makita nila na we are going to implement the law (We are pleading to the DOJ and the PCC so that an example will be sit to show we are going to implement the law),” she said.
The Senator lamented there are so far no rice smugglers who have been prosecuted.