Climaco hopes Sen. Villar can ‘move mountain’ in smuggling PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 24 February 2015 11:48

Mayor Beng Climaco yesterday expressed optimism that Senator Cynthia Villar will be able to “move mountain” in today’s public hearing on rice smuggling issue in Zamboanga City.

This, as Sen. Villar, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food, is scheduled to arrive in the city this morning to conduct a Senate public hearing on rice smuggling, following the alleged disappearance of P20-million smuggled rice from the warehouse of the local port.

Climaco told the press briefing in City Hall yesterday that the city government was preparing its stand on the smuggling issue to be submitted to Villar’s committee during the public hearing today as she lamented the Bureau of Custom’s failure to respond to an earlier query on the matter.

“It has been months since we inquired the matter from the Bureau of Customs but until now there is no response. We hope Sen. Villar’s presence will be able to move mountain in today’s public hearing,” Climaco said.

It can be recalled ann estimated P9-million worth of smuggled rice shipment has gone missing three days after it was intercepted by the Philippine Navy here.

The missing contraband was part of a shipment of 16,000 50-kg sacks of imported rice, loaded in four boats that were intercepted on the shore of Recodo village last month.

This prompted the City Council to appeal to President Aquino for help to stop rice smuggling in the city, which Mayor Climaco had described as a “pest.”

The council passed a resolution recently also calling on the BOC to investigate cases of smuggling and for the Senate blue ribbon committee to conduct a parallel investigation.— Vic Larato