3 ships with ‘smuggled’ sugar held in Zambo City; econ sabotage raps eyed
Bantay Dagat members in Zamboanga City have intercepted three vessels suspected to be loaded with smuggled sugar in Barangay Taluksangay, Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said.
Piñol, in his Facebook post, said he got the report from a broadcaster based in Zamboanga City.
He said PNP chief Ronald dela Rosa assured him that he will order the Zamboanga City police chief to hold the vessels. He said the information has been relayed to Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon.
“I have, however, asked Chief PNP Bato dela Rosa to make sure that the vessels are held and the smugglers are arrested and charged with violating the law on smuggling which has now been elevated to the level of economic sabotage,” he said.
Piñol said Zamboanga City is notorious for being the drop off point of smuggled agricultural goods, especially rice and sugar.
He said the shipment is the first reported incident of a smuggling attempt under the Duterte presidency and that “powerful personalities” are interceding and working for the release of the three vessels.