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Agriculture organizations backs Pangilinan

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Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura (Sinag), an umbrella group of 32 farmers’ and agriculture organizations, on Friday backed Presidential Assistant for Food Security and Agricultural Modernization Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan after a rice trader dragged his name into an alleged extortion case. “We don’t believe that Secretary Pangilinan would do that,” Rosendo So, Sinag president, said in a telephone interview. “We in the agricultural sector do not believe such allegations,”  Sinag said in a statement, also quoting So. Inquirer

“When Secretary Pangilinan still headed the agriculture committee in the Senate, he ran after hoarders for illegal importation worth billions of pesos. And now we’re just talking of millions? It’s very hard to imagine this claim,” the statement said. Inquirer

In a complaint filed in the National Bureau of Investigation, rice trader Jomerito “Jojo” Soliman claimed that P15 million was extorted from him by National Food Authority Administrator Arthur Juan and his assistant, lawyer Patricia Galang. At least P10 million of the money was supposed to be divided equally between Pangilinan and Interior Secretary Mar Roxas. Inquirer

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