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Curious approach

Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte must be fuming mad. Having recently announced that he’d kill any rice smuggler caught operating in his turf while at a hearing with august members of the Senate (who themselves were so awed at this display of bravado that they forgot they needed to uphold the republican principle that no man is allowed to take the law unto himself), he has had to grapple with the news that—what temerity—at least 64 bars of cocaine were discovered at a shipyard in Barangay Tibungco in the Bunawan district.

Posted: April 2nd, 2014 in Editor's Pick,Editorial,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

The Rice Fiasco: How smugglers, bureaucrats and naïve economists are mugging our farmers

By

These lines come to mind as one observes the awful debacle that has overtaken the fate of the most important item in the Filipino diet. In a controversial recent judgment, a court in Davao recently ruled against the Bureau of Customs and ordered the release of 4.2 million tons of seized smuggled rice. Now the smugglers are shouting with glee at an unexpected development: Secretary Leila de Lima is on their side.

Posted: February 26th, 2014 in Columns,Viewpoints | Read More »

Tough

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I share Carlos Conde’s sentiments completely. Conde is the Philippine researcher for Human Rights Watch, Asia division, and he complains bitterly about Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte’s remarks at the Senate and the senators’ response to them.

Posted: February 13th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Editorial mistaken on Senate as ‘diminished institution’

This refers to your editorial, “Rice and circuses,” which appeared in your Feb. 6 issue.

Posted: February 11th, 2014 in Inquirer Opinion,Letters to the Editor | Read More »

Rice and circuses

For those watching, the Senate hearing on rice smuggling last Monday was a distressing experience. We do not know which of the following occasioned the most wailing and gnashing of teeth: the fact that the identity of David Tan, the alleged central figure in rice smuggling, was finally resolved at the level of the Senate [...]

Posted: February 5th, 2014 in Editor's Pick,Editorial | Read More »

Accustomed

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What to do about smuggling?   It’s something that’s been there for as long as the oldest members of this community have been on earth, and it looks nowhere near to being pushed mightily back, let alone eradicated. “We’re talking of an entire ecosystem here,” John Philip Sevilla, the new Customs chief, admits. The amounts [...]

Posted: February 5th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Vanishing act

Is David Tan for real? The new chief of the Bureau of Customs isn’t certain. “We don’t know if there’s really a David Tan,” Commissioner John Philip Sevilla said on Tuesday. Davao Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, in pursuit of rice smugglers using his city’s seaport, told a TV audience on Sunday: “I have tried to track [...]

Posted: January 10th, 2014 in Editor's Pick,Editorial | Read More »

Claim doesn’t match figures

Rigoberto Tiglao’s claim that $390 million or P16.6 billion worth of rice was smuggled from Vietnam is wrong. It is meant to justify a predetermined conclusion that “Rice smuggling explodes under Aquino” (Inquirer, 12/20/12). Citing International Monetary Fund trade  statistics between the Philippines and Vietnam during President Aquino’s first two years in office, Tiglao anchored [...]

Posted: January 24th, 2013 in Inquirer Opinion,Letters to the Editor | Read More »

Rice smuggling explodes under Aquino

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rice-smuggling-from-vietnam

Despite former National Food Authority Administrator Angelito Banayo’s claims of a tuwid na daan policy during his watch, International Monetary Fund trade figures show that rice smuggling in the Aquino administration’s first two years—abetted by the NFA head himself, witnesses recently alleged in the Senate—has exploded to unprecedented levels, estimated at over P16.6 billion worth during this period.

Posted: December 19th, 2012 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Nagging questions regarding the rice shipment in Subic

Customs Commissioner Ruffy Biazon excluded for possible distribution to flood victims some 21 million kilos (420,000 bags) of “smuggled Indian rice” in conformity with the Senate’s freeze order and pending appeals from the shipper’s representatives.

Posted: August 20th, 2012 in Inquirer Opinion,Letters to the Editor | Read More »

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