WE write relative to the news stories (enumerated below) wherein it was intimated that Harbour Centre Port Terminal Inc. (HCPTI) is unlawfully conniving with the National Food Authority (NFA) in illegally storing imported rice within the port premises:
- “Port operator under fire for storing NFA rice without government permit” published on September 28, 2015
- “Group threatens to sue NFA for using port as transit hub” published on October 1, 2015
- “NFA welcomes probe on use of port as transit hub” published on October 5, 2015
- “Consumer group sues NFA, HCPTI for illegal storage of rice” published on October 20, 2015
- “PPA asked to probe ‘import irregularities’ in local ports” published on October 26, 2015
It is our position that the allegations contained in these news stories are baseless, malicious and defamatory. While it is true that HCPTI has done business and transacted with NFA, all dealings with the same agency are conducted transparently and more important, legally. All unloading operations concerning rice importation of NFA are carried out through Direct-To-Truck operations. Simply stated, all cargoes are directly loaded to truck of the consignee and are never stored or kept within the port premises. In fact, a certification to this effect was recently issued by the NFA amid the allegations of a boisterous consumer group. In the interest of bringing light to the issue, we took the initiative to contact and locate the representatives of the involved consumer group but our efforts were futile as both their contact number and address, as reflected in their corporate papers, are inexistent.
Further, Atty. Danilo L. Bonabon of NFA, in his report relative to the ocular inspection conducted at the HCPTI premises on September 28, 2015, was quoted to say that “During our visit to verify the veracity of said accusation which was being published in several newspapers, Kenneth Soldevilla, assistant vice president for Terminal Operation, assisted us in the conduct of inspection of the only warehouse standing inside the premises of Manila Harbour Centre to show that there is no NFA/Commercial Rice being stored but mostly are materials made of iron. Not even a single grain of NFA rice is stored and found at the said warehouse.” Hence, removing all doubts of existence of illegally stored rice within HCPTI premises.
In this regard, we urge you to cease and desist from publishing further, any article which relate or pertain to the above baseless allegation of illegal storage of rice within our port premises. HCPTI has always been committed to faithful compliance with applicable rules and regulations set forth by any and all government agencies, and upholding the laws of the land in general. Any allegation to the contrary serves to malign, vilify and defame the good name of the company.
Iran Isabelle J. Servillon
Manila Harbour Centre,
R-10, Vitas, Tondo, Manila 1013