A deputy minority leader on Wednesday called on the Department of Justice (DOJ) to direct the National Bureau of Investigation to go against manipulators of farm prices and supplies.
Bagong Henerasyon Party-list Rep. Bernadette Herrera, in a news release, asked these government agencies to build solid cases, fool-proofed against technicalities and excuses and send the economic saboteurs to jail because they have inflicted great suffering on millions of Filipinos and have adversely impacted the economy.
“I appeal to the Department of Justice to task the National Bureau of Investigation and a panel of DOJ prosecutors to go after the economic saboteurs who manipulate the prices and supply of any farm produce,” she said.
“We have to go beyond raids on warehouses. We need paper trails, electronic trails, protected witnesses and convictions,” Herrera added.
The lawmaker said the country needs tough administrative penalties and stiff fines to at least temporarily shut them down while their cases are pending.
“Some of these heartless saboteurs would try to blame external factors, that other countries are also experiencing the same problems. They would even blame the pandemic,” she said.
“But these wild fluctuations in prices and supply of agricultural products have happened time and again despite the many laws meant to curb economic sabotage – situations which have led many to suspect that the economic saboteurs operate outside and within the government agencies that are supposed to thwart the saboteurs,” the lawmaker added.