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Duterte ‘visibly upset’ with missing 23K sacks of smuggled rice

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By Prince Golez

President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered an “immediate” and “thorough” investigation into the missing sacks of smuggled rice in Zamboanga City, Malacanang said on Thursday.

Duterte also urged the National Food Authority and the Bureau of Customs (BOC) to immediately place on preventive suspension individuals responsible for disappearance of 23,015 sacks of rice, according to Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque Jr.

The chief executive, Roque said, was “visibly upset” with the incident.

“At 6:45 this morning, I got a text from the Executive Secretary, asking me to inform the nation that the President was visibly upset with the missing 23,015 sacks of apprehended smuggled rice in Zamboanga City,” the Palace official said in a press briefing.

He also said that Customs Commissioner Isidro Lapena already ordered the “administrative relief” of Zamboanga District Collector Lyceo Martinez and Customs Police District Commander Filomeno Salazar.

“Sa ngayon patuloy ang ginagawang pagbawi ng mga nawawalang bigas sa Port of Zamboanga na nagresulta ng mga sumusunod: Una, nung October 1 ang pag recover ng 5,000 sakong bigas sa Basulata Traders Corp. Warehouse at pangalawa nung October 2 ang pagbawi ng 3,000 sako ng bigas sa Suterville Warehouse Mango Drive at 8,000 sako ng bigas sa Kasanyangan Compound, Sta. Catalina,” Roque said.