Sinag’s So files charges vs, 2 NFA execs

FOR DIVERTING P5.1-B FUND

ROSALES—The Samahan ng Industriyang Agrikultura (SINAG) filed charges against the administrator and head of accounting services department of the National Food Authority (NFA) before the Ombudsman for diverting the agency’s P5.1-billion fund intended to stabilize price and supply of rice and corn on Aug. 29.

In his 12-page complaint, SINAG president Rosendo So accused Administrator Jason Aquino and Gerry Ambrosio, department manager of the NFA accounting services department, for violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act and Article 220 of the Revised Penal Code in connection with RA No. 10924 or the General Appropriations Act of 2017.

So alleged that, “NFA willfully, intentionally and feloniously disregarded the law and their mandate and used up the fund allocated to them under Republic Act No. 10924, amounting to P5,100,000,000 for payment of maturing obligations showing not only the blatant mismanagement of funds but more importantly, placing the Philippines in an unstable position where its people have to suffer in a detrimental state of continuing increase in prices of rice and corn”.

The SINAG chair said President Duterte allotted P5.1-billion to the NFA to be used specifically to stabilize the price and supply of rice and corn.

He cited the payment of P1,046,000,000 and P1,044,000,000 to Land Bank of the Philippines and the Development Bank of the Philippines as payments of the principal and interests on their loans with the banks.

So said COA further found the diversion of the fund severely affected the NFA’s Food Security Program last year, noting the shortfalls in the amount of palay procured from farmers as well as the subsidized NFA rice distributed in the market.

He added that despite its responsibility as the NFA, not a single peso from the P5.1-B fund was used to ensure the stabilization of the prices and supplies of rice and corn. (With PhilStar wire service report)

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