Press Release
September 7, 2022

Dela Rosa laments finger-pointing of DTI and DA on filing charges against hoarders

SENATOR Ronald "Bato" Dela Rosa has lamented the finger-pointing of government agencies on which department should file charges against hoarders and price manipulators.

Dela Rosa, vice chairperson of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, has expressed frustration and reprimanded the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Department of Agriculture (DA) for finger-pointing each other on which department is primarily responsible to file cases of hoarding and price manipulation against businessmen who owned the warehouses raided recently by the Bureau of Customs (BoC) in coordination with the DTI.

The Mindanaoan Senator was surprised that the DTI has not charged anyone for hoarding or violation of the Price Act, or Republic Act 7581, in connection with the raids conducted by the BoC and DTI where tons of sugar were found in several warehouses.

DTI Director Marcus Valdez said that under the Price Act, agricultural products like sugar are within the jurisdiction of the DA and therefore, it is the DA that should file cases of hoarding.

But Dela Rosa said hoarding and price manipulation are clearly within the jurisdiction of the DTI regardless of whether the products involved are agricultural or not.

"Siguro, kaya namamayagpag itong mga...unscrupulous businessmen dahil malabo itong ating law enforcement agencies kung sino talagang in charge dito, sinong magpa-file ng kaso nito. Kaya siguro wala pang na-file na kaso hanggang ngayon. Katagal na itong batas na ito. Ewan ko lang kung may na-file-an ng kaso," Dela Rosa said.

"Manghingi tayo ng data from DTI kung ilan ang na-file-an ng kaso, ilan ang nakobikto dahil kung wala, 'eh di might as well, ibasura itong batas na ito kung hindi niyo kayang i-implement," he continued.

The former top cop manifested an intent to look into the issue on primary responsibility to file charges to address the root cause of hoarding and price manipulation.

"I just would like to manifest na klaruhin natin itong responsibilidad na 'to dahil ito talaga, this is the root cause of all price manipulation. Ito palang problema na ito, wala palang klaro kung sinong magpa-file ng kaso. So, ipatawag natin 'to kung sinong in-charge dito," Dela Rosa said.

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