Why rice hoarders, smugglers thrived in RP PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 20 April 2017 11:01

KAKAMPI MO ANG BATAS

BY Atty. BATAS MAURICIO

LIFE’S INSPIRATIONS: “… Aliens residing among you shall ascend above you higher and higher, while you shall descend lower and lower. They shall lend to you but you shall not lend to them; they shall be the head and you shall be the tail…” (Deuteronomy 28:43-44, the Holy Bible).

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WHY RICE HOARDERS AND SMUGGLERS THRIVED IN RP: Even now, many farmers are already highly appreciative of the efforts of President Duterte and Agriculture Secretary Manny Pinol to make sure that no further rice importation of any kind will be allowed at this point in time, particularly considering the assessment that current rice production, and the volume of rice already imported under the Duterte government, are already highly sufficient.

In fact, Pinol’s announcement that efforts by rice hoarders and rice smugglers to create an artificial rice shortage, a shortage they have already perfected in creating through the years despite bumper rice harvests by Filipino farmers, would be dealt with severely by the government through raids of known warehouses where rice is hidden, had been similarly met with glee.

This decisive action against manipulation of rice supply, usually by businessmen of foreign descent who have been thinking of nothing but to profit by the millions at the expense of Filipino farmers, is something totally unheard of in past regimes. Many are now saying there were no similar campaigns in the past against rice hoarders because officials during those times were in reality in cahoots with hoarders and smugglers for fat fees.

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MERE P1.00 COMMISSION PER SACK OF IMPORTED RICE BRINGS MILLIONS: How did it happen that businessmen of foreign descent, who, in the past, were content with the buy and sell merely of bote garapa, tanso, and aluminum rejects, now control the country’s vital rice supply? The clear answer would be that, as we already pointed out here, corrupt Filipino officials conspired with them to give them that control.

As Vic Somintac (my partner in the daily radio program “Tambalang Batas at Somintac” at DZEC 1062 kHz, which airs from 6 a.m. to 7.am.) have been repeatedly expounding, a commission of just P1.00 (one peso) per sack of rice that is imported into the country would already yield for the graft-prone officials multi-million peso grease money per importation.

Rice importation, in itself, therefore constitutes a highly-profitable enterprise, so much so that even supposedly level-headed leaders of government scramble on top of one another to allow importation even if there is sufficient local production. Even a cursory analysis of what is happening now in the government agencies directly dealing with rice importation will show inordinate interest on the issue.

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FOREIGNERS LORDING IT OVER RICE INDUSTRY PREDICTED TO HAPPEN: Be that as it may, this lording it over the local rice industry by businessmen of foreign descent is a phenomenon that was much prophesied and predicted to happen in the Bible. Browsing through the Bible’s Book of Curses, we find this admonition: the foreigners residing among you will prosper greatly, while you sink in poverty irretrievably.

The same prophecy tells us that these foreigner-businessmen will be the ones to lend to us, and that we will never lend to them. In fact, this economic power in their hands was predicted to propel them to positions of political leadership in the country, transforming Filipino natives as followers of foreigners in their own land.

How do we, native Filipinos, address this malady? The Bible has the answer: start listening to, and obeying, God and His commands, sincerely and truthfully. In the first place, the curse of the prosperous foreigners came to us because we are no longer listening to, and no longer obeying, God. Let us listen to, and obey, God now, and things will change.

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