Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Drilon urges speedy resolution of rice smuggling cases

MANILA-Senate President Franklin M. Drilon today echoed Malacañang’s plea to judicial authorities to speed up the resolution of rice smuggling cases, saying that slow resolution of these cases is an injustice to the Filipino farmers.

Presidential Communications Operations Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. has earlier called on the judiciary to act faster on 157 cases of alleged rice smuggling filed in the Court of Appeals since 2010.

“The slow disposition of smuggling related cases only results in smugglers being more brazen in carrying out their illegal activities. The speedy prosecution and resolution of smuggling cases will be the most potent warning against those who seek to violate our laws,” the Senate leader said.

“We must show that the wheels of justice are moving vigorously against smugglers."

“Smuggling is hurting our economy and it is hurting severely the livelihood of our poor rural farmers, who spend their entire days toiling under the sun to ensure that we would have food on our table, only to be thwarted by those who engage in rice smuggling," lamented Drilon.

The Senate chief emphasized that it is important that the three branches of government work hand-in-hand in dealing with the problem of smuggling in the country, and that each of them must be able to move at the same fast pace in order to effectively arrest smuggling and provide justice to the farmers, who are the very victims of these unscrupulous activities.

“The government needs to show that the full force of its powers are working against those who would conduct smuggling of rice and other commodities, and that rigorous investigations and full prosecution under the law await anyone involved in this illegal trade,” said Drilon, a former justice secretary who also served as executive secretary and labor secretary during past administrations.

“Let us go after these hoodlums by strengthening our laws, by providing assistance to our law enforcers, and by addressing the backlog of cases in our courts and ensuring a speedy delivery of justice,” he stressed.

The Senate chief reassured the public that the Congress will be relentless in its resolve “to go to the bottom of the issue” in order to craft legislature and policies that would aid the government in strengthening its fight against those who seek to destroy our economy with their brazen disregard of the laws.


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