Probe of dummy rice firms sought
The Senate committee on agriculture has asked the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to look into the proliferation of dummy firms that reportedly conduct business with the National Food Authority to corner rice importation permits.
The committee called on the NBI after 20 representatives of rice trading firms snubbed subpoenas the agriculture panel issued in connection with its inquiry into alleged rice smuggling in the country.
The committee wants the rice traders to explain their respective corporations’ financial backing, adding there were indications some firms were serving as dummies for moneyed individuals.
Only one of 26 rice traders showed up in Wednesday’s hearing on rice smuggling. Sen. Francis Pangilinan, chairman of the committee on agriculture, threatened to have the absentee traders arrested. Norman Bordadora
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