NFA chief sued for graft amid resignation calls.
National Food Authority (NFA) Administrator Jason Aquino is in hot waters these days. While some lawmakers are now asking him to step down, one of the strongest agriculture lobby groups is also now suing him for allegedly diverting food security funds for other purposes.
On Wednesday, industry lobby group Samahang Industriya sa Agrikultura (SINAG) has filed graft charges against Aquino and NFA’s accounting manager Gerry Ambrosio for allegedly diverting P5.1-billion worth of subsidies to pay the agency’s debt.
Composed of the country’s major agriculture stakeholders, SINAG was one of the “strong lobbying force” that made House Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo backtrack on her zero import tariff proposal on meat and fish products a few weeks ago.
“The case we are filing against officials of the NFA at the Ombudsman is the industry’s first collective response to the series of recent bad decisions of the NFA and the Department of Agriculture,” SINAG Chair Chair Rosendo So said in reports.
“The case against these officials are for all families that have to line-up for hours, just to get two kilos of [affordable NFA] rice,” he added.