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SOURCE: Press and Public Affairs Bureau

Speaker Romualdez backs move to cite 3 persons in contempt as onion hoarding probe continues
07 March 2023 11:00:26 PM

Speaker Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez on Tuesday backed the decision of the House Committee on Agriculture chaired by Quezon Rep. Mark Enverga to cite in contempt three persons in the panel’s investigation into reports of price manipulation and hoarding of onions.

“I am in full support of the decision of the Committee on Agriculture,” Speaker Romualdez said.

He pointed out that the committee’s move is in accordance with the exercise of its mandate to pursue the congressional inquiry aimed at stopping price manipulation and hoarding to bring down the price of onions.

“Malinaw ang layunin namin nang simulan ang mga hearings na ito. Kailangang maipababa ang presyo ng sibuyas sa lalong madaling panahon. Kailangang makilala kung sino ang bumubuo ng kartel na nagmamanipula ng presyo ng bilihin. Kailangang buwagin ang mga kartel na ito na nagpapahirap sa bayan,” he said.

The Speaker stressed that he and the House leadership would “not allow anyone to make a mockery of the hearings now being conducted by the Committee on Agriculture.”

“We expect every resource person invited to tell the truth. No more, no less. I advise those who are invited to the hearings: magsabi lang po kayo ng totoo. Kung lolokohin lang ninyo ang Committee, sa detention center ang bagsak ninyo,” he stressed.

Cited in contempt by the Committee were ARGO Trading president and general manager Efren Zoleta Jr., operation manager John Patrick Sevilla, and legal counsel Jan Ryan Cruz.

Sevilla, who attended the hearing, was immediately detained. Zoleta and Cruz did not show up. (END)