Why should I?
BY ROGER M. BALANZA
Agriculture chief Emmanuel Piñol is not stepping down amidst calls to resign in wake of the rice crisis.
Worst, he is proposing that smuggling of rice be legalized to solve the supply lack and rising prices of the staple. In some parts of the country, rice prices go as high as P70 per kilo, while stores selling government-subsidized rice are empty.
Lawmakers have called for the resignation of top DA officials led by Piñol and officials of the National Food Authority (NFA) and its Council over the shortage of rice.
In the House of Representatives, BUHAY party-list Representative Lito Atienza said Piñol should resign as he is on top of the mess as DA chief.
House Minority Leader Danilo Suarez said that he may move for the deferment of the DA’s budget once it is deliberated in the plenary.
Senator Koko Pimentel said he would support a call in the Senate to have the NFA abolished following issues on shortage and soaring prices of rice.
Senator Joel Villanueva rated Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol’s performance as “terrible” after the latter suggested legalizing rice smuggling in some parts of Mindanao.
“With the statements that he made last night, I think it’s terrible,” Villanueva said when asked in an interview with ABS-CBN News Channel on Thursday to rate Piñol’s performance.
Piñol’s plan to legalize rice smuggling in some areas in Mindanao was “disturbing,” Vice President Leni Robredo.
Coming from an official of the government and representing the President, this is very disturbing, Robredo said.