The Department of Justice (DOJ) has recommended the filing of criminal charges against 17 individuals involved in the alleged illegal rebagging and sale of National Food Authority (NFA) rice in Marilao, Bulacan.
In a statement Tuesday, the DOJ said the 17 accused will be charged with violation of Section 5 (2) of Republic Act No. 7581 or the Price Act of 1992, which pertains to profiteering or the sale of goods grossly in excess of its true worth.
The suspects were identified as Juancho E. San Luis, Roel N. Bulalaque, Jose M. Grimio, Delfin C. Remogat, Antonio L. Gonzales, Ronnie O. Esplana, Antero G. Saturno, Wilson R. Agapito, Wilcris R. Agapito, Cesar C. Bernardo, Joseph B. Reyes, Annisito P. Almenario, Ferdinand Sarto, Paul G. James, Maximo C. Macasinag, Albert G. Javier, and Efren G. Brusola.
“Pertinently, the acts of the detained respondents show unity of action eared towards a common purpose, which is to re-bag the NFA rice to commercial sacks for sale at a higher price,” said the Bulacan Provincial Prosecutor’s Office in an inquest resolution.
The DOJ will hear the preliminary investigation for the charges against suspects Roberto and Regina Pualenco, who remain at large at 2 p.m. on July 17.
The Bulacan Criminal Investigation and Detection Team (CIDT) discovered the alleged illegal rebagging activity at the Jomarro Star Ricemill in Barangay Abangan Norte in Marilao on July 2 through an informant.
After receiving the said tip, the CIDT deployed a poseur-buyer to the site the next day and found out that repacked government subsidized NFA rice were being sold under various brands at more or less P43 per kilo.