The chief of staff of Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala, strongly denied the blame hurled at him by food security czar Francis Pangilinan.
The blame was to give a P1.08-billion rice cargo handling contract to a favored company without a bidding.
But his lawyer, Dennis Guerrero marked all the allegations on Alcala involving cargo handler Avegas Bros,Integrated Shipping Corp. and a bribe equivalent to US$3 (P131) per metric ton was useless and baseless.
A report from Bombo Radyo,no 1 radio network in the Phillipness reported that Pangilinan wanted Guerrero and Calayag investigated for the alleged anomaly.
there is a strong bonding between Alcala and Guerrero,who was the special assistant to National Food Authority (NFA) administrator Orlan Calayag who has resigned from his post, two days after the appointment of former senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan as the new food security czar.
Al the blames hurled at Alcala by the Pangilinan had not a single proof which shown that there was any pay-off, Guerrero said, referring to the 205,700 metric tons of rice the Agriculture Department and NFA imported in April 2013.
He said that the importation of rice was over priced by at least P442 million.
“The absence of bidding for cargo handling is not a criminal omission for which I may be prosecuted. The entirety of the contracts between NFA and Vinafood II (Vietnam Southern Food Corporation) is exempted from the requirement of bidding, in accordance with Section 4 of Republic Act No. 9184,” he added.
He said only one transaction was made between the buyer the cargo handler (Avegas Bros.) and the supplier Vinafood II.
It doesn’t involve NFA and its intervention is possible only if it want to safeguard its importation.