Press Release
March 1, 2007


BAGUIO CITY Sen. Panfilo Lacson scored Thursday the smuggling of strawberries and vegetables into the city, which he said will greatly affect the livelihood of farmers in Benguet province.

Lacson, who has crossed paths with smugglers both as lawman and as lawmaker, said it was disheartening to learn that strawberries and vegetables, which are major tourist attractions at the city market here, are now being brought in from abroad.

Itoy nakakalungkot na nakakainis pa. Yung Baguio well-known sa strawberry. Kami pag alis namin sa Manila unang bilin magbili ng strawberry tapos papasukan ng smuggled (This is very sad and at the same time dismaying. Baguio has been well-known for its strawberries. When we leave Manila to visit Baguio, our families would ask us to bring home strawberries or vegetables. Now we learn some of the strawberries are being smuggled in from China), he said in an interview with the local Bombo Radyo here.

He said the situation is worse for farmers in Benguet province, who depend greatly on such produce for their living.

Sabihin nating imported or may informal entry pero ito nakakasira sa hanapbuhay ng ating magsasaka (We can call it imported or informal entry. But in the end, this is damaging our farmers livelihoods), Lacson said.

Lacson campaigned here Thursday on the third day of his campaign in Northern Luzon. He earlier visited Pangasinan and La Union provinces.

Despite the cold weather here, he received a warm welcome from residents who lined the streets and from marketgoers who asked him to shake their hands and pose for pictures with him.

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