By ANNA FELICIA BAJO, GMA Integrated News
President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Friday strongly urged the public to report to authorities groups or individuals engaged in smuggling and hoarding of agricultural products.
“Mga kababayan, gaano man kalaki ang kanilang sindikato, tulad ng natimbog natin na smuggler sa pier ng Zamboanga noong buwan ng Agosto, wala pong binabatbat ‘yan sa nagkakaisa nating lakas,” Marcos said in his speech during the distribution of smuggled rice in Capiz.
(No matter how big the syndicate is, just like the one we seized in a pier in Zamboanga last month, it is no match to our collective power in combatting smugglers.)
“Kaya kung may nalalaman po kayong sangkot sa ganitong transaksyon, huwag kayong matakot na magsuplong,” he added.
(If you have information against those involved in these transactions, don’t be afraid to report them.)
Marcos said his administration has been coordinating with lawmakers regarding imposing stiffer penalties on agriculture economic sabotage.
The President earlier certified as urgent the proposed legislation defining agricultural economic sabotage and imposing more severe penalties for violators.
In the same speech, Marcos directed the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Department of Finance (DOF) to hasten the release of benefits and assistance for local farmers.
Meanwhile, during the event, Marcos acknowledged the attendance of former Interior and the Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas, describing him as his long-time friend despite their political differences.
Roxas is related to Marcos’ wife, First Lady Liza Araneta-Marcos.
“Ang ating matagal na kaibigan, anak ng Capiz, nandito rin po ang dating senador and secretary, lahat na yata nahawakan mo… Mar Roxas nandito po. Baka hindi ninyo alam, alam niyo po kami ni Mar, matagal na kaming magkaibigan kahit hindi kami magkapanig kung minsan sa politika, eh matagal kami nagsama sa New York,” he said.
(My long time friend, the son of Capiz, he’s here, former senator and secretary Mar Roxas. Maybe you don’t know, but Mar and I have been friends for a long time despite our political differences, we were together in New York for a long time.)
“Nakakatuwa, matagal ko na po siya hindi nakakausap… nag-usap kami dito pa sa Capiz,” the President added.
(I’m glad, we haven’t spoken for a long time. We spoke only here in Capiz.)
Roxas is a party-mate and supporter of former Vice President Leni Robredo, one of Marcos’ opponents in the 2022 presidential election, and the late President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III, a member of the rival political family of the Marcoses. —KBK, GMA Integrated News