ANILA (Mabuhay) – Presidential Assistant for Food Security and Agricultural Modernization Francis Pangilinan slammed the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) for leaking a graft report against National Food Authority (NFA) Administrator Arthur Juan.
Pangilinan said his office will ask for a reinvestigation considering that the report “raises more questions than answers.”
Quoting an unnamed NBI official, news reports came out last week saying that graft charges have been recommended against Juan and his assistant, lawyer Patricia Galang.
The NBI official claimed investigators have gathered enough evidence supposedly proving the extortion claims raised by rice trader Jomerito Soliman.
Soliman alleged the NFA chief, weeks after being installed into office, extorted money from him worth P15 million during a warehouse raid.
Pangilinan said no less than Justice Secretary Leila de Lima stated that President Benigno Aquino III gets first dibs on the report.
“If [NBI] is not hiding anything, they should be confident enough to come out in the open,” he said.
He said he also got wind of the alleged report from the media.
“When we asked the NBI for a copy, they said it was confidential,” he added.
Pangilinan said he was reminded of the time when he was still with the Senate investigating smuggling incidents in the rice industry.
“We discovered several cooperatives acting as dummies for smugglers were able to get clearances from the NBI. So we found out the smugglers were conspiring with the NBI,” he said.
Soliman’s complaint also tagged Pangilinan and Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas in the alleged extortion. The NBI report supposedly found no evidence on the matter.
Pangilinan said, “when I joined the government, I was warned that I would be up against big enemies. They were right.” (MNS)