Duterte: Rice smugglers may have protectors

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Monday, February 24, 2014

DAVAO City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday said rice smugglers may have "protectors" inside the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Bureau of Customs (BoC).

With the problem on rice smuggling that existed since time immemorial, Duterte said there must be something wrong with the people working within the four corners of the DOJ.

"Hanggang ngayon yan lang ang nakuha nila? I am aghast. Hanggang ngayon nandiyan pa sila sa establishing identity? Yung budget nila kalaki-laki eh. In the first place, sino nagpo-protect ng mga smugglers na yan diyan sa DOJ? Who are they or who is she?" Duterte said in an interview in Nabunturan, Compostela Valley.


Duterte was reacting to the statements of de Lima against him and on his stand against Davidson Bangayan, the suspected "David Tan" allegedly involved in massive rice smuggling in the country.

Duterte earlier lambasted de Lima for insisting that Bangayan is from Davao City, when in fact the person only travels here "once a year".

"You (de Lima) had had your chance. You came here to investigate, ano bang nakuha mo? You just destroyed my name. Until now they are agonizing with this Bangayan," he said.

He said he also surmised that "protectors of rice smugglers" cannot only be found in DOJ, but also in BoC.

"Hindi pa ako sure and I cannot name names because I am trying to validate. Not only in DOJ, but in Customs. Hindi naman lulusot yan eh (kung walang protector)," he said.

Duterte also asked de Lima to step down from her position in DOJ.
He said De Lima was already "bypassed so many times even until now".

"For delicadeza, umalis na siya diyan. The representatives of the people who are really the senators and the congressmen do not really agree with their appointment, eh kung delicadeza umalis ka na diyan," he said.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on February 25, 2014.

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