Duterte: Senate statement meant for de Lima
Subscribe Now February 07, 2014 at 09:01am
Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte admitted on Tuesday, February 4, before Davao media that his opening statement at the Senate hearing on rice smuggling the previous day was directed against Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Leila de Lima.
In his opening statement, Duterte said: "The problem with us in government is we talk too much, act too slow, and do too little."
But when Senator Jinggoy Estrada asked him to whom he was directing the statement, Duterte responded that it was directed at all law enforcement agencies.
De Lima said that Duterte's statement was "unfair," adding she and the agency were simply making sure that their case against alleged rice smuggling king Davidson Bangayan a.k.a. David Tan is airtight.
Duterte said the problem of rice smuggling could partly be blamed on De Lima as she allegedly failed to give a legal opinion on the request for guidance by the National Food Authority (NFA) regarding the World Trade Organization (WTO) document stating that Philippine rice import restrictions would expire on June 30, 2012.
The NFA contended that the Philippines notified the WTO that it was extending rice import restrictions beyond the 2012 deadline until 2017. This means that rice importers still need a permit from the NFA.
Duterte said the NFA sought guidance from De Lima regarding the conflicting legal opinions but she has not given her official stand on the matter.
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