Press Release
February 19, 2010

Gordon Demands Answers on Shabu Rice Shipment
Will Investigate Corruption Surrounding Drug Smuggling Through Food Supply

MANILA -- Bagumbayan presidential candidate Senator Richard "Dick" J. Gordon called on the National Food Authority (NFA) to explain how more than 50 sacks containing a main ingredient of shabu were delivered with 77,000 sacks of NFA rice from Vietnam.

A Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) official in the Western Visayas reported that NFA employees were unloading sacks of rice from the Vietnamese vessel Trai Thien at the Bredco Port in Bacolod City when a sack, marked "NFA," fell and a crystalline substance spilled out.

Lab tests have shown the substance to be N-Methylephedrine that, while not included in the table of dangerous drugs nor the list of precursors for essential chemicals for drugs, can still be used in the production of shabu if the ephedrine is extracted, according to a PDEA official.

Gordon, who is Chairman of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, will hold a meeting to further investigate the incident, and stressed this controversy is considered adultery of substance.

"Obviously, somebody is illegally using the NFA to bring the shabu materials into the country. People involved in corruption of authority should be punished under the full extent of the law and get the "interests" they deserve in jail," said Gordon. "We must put a stop to the transactional mindset of corrupt government officials. Giving them pardons or not doing anything to stop the illegal practice makes a mockery of our laws and sends the wrong message to people who break, or plot to break, the laws."

Gordon has announced he will release his anti-corruption plan Friday.

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