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Bam: Corruption to continue with Evasco gone in NFA Council

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By Xave Gregorio

Corruption in rice importation and management would now go unchecked and unpunished now that Cabinet Secretary Jun Evasco is out of the National Food Authority (NFA) Council, Senator Bam Aquino said.

“The removal of Cabinet Secretary Jun Evasco from the NFA Council is a loss in our fight against corruption in the importation and management of rice,” Aquino said in a statement Tuesday (April 17).

“Without the checks and balances that Sec. Evasco endeavored to implement, corrupt deals will continue unpunished,” he said.

Politiko reported that President Rodrigo Duterte sacked Evasco from the helm of the 18-member NFA Council Monday evening (April 16) during a meeting with several Cabinet secretaries and ranking government officials.

Evasco’s removal is due to the NFA returning under the Department of Agriculture, along with the Philippine Coconut Authority and the Fertilizer Pesticide Authority.

The NFA Council was also reportedly reorganized.

The Cabinet Secretary’s removal from the council comes amid reported disagreements between him and NFA chief Jason Aquino on rice importation to replenish zeroed stocks.

He once alleged that Aquino of milking money by pushing for government-to-government importation.

However, Duterte previously said he has told Aquino to ignore the NFA council and proceed with the importation of rice. He made this statement a day after he ordered the policy-making body of the grain agency abolished.