DINALUPIHAN, Bataan – Eight persons were arrested, Wednesday afternoon following an operation against illegal traders of National Food Authority (NFA) rice conducted by the municipal public safety office and the local police in coordination with the Metro Bataan Development Authority (MBDA).
The suspects, most of whom are not residents of Bataan, were apprehended by municipal marshals Arturo Lontoc and Wilfredo Valdeviesco after they were caught in the act of stealing NFA rice and transferring it to unlabeled sacks. Recovered from their possession are 44 pieces open blue commercial sacks containing suspected NFA rice; 4 pieces open NFA sacks of rice marked 7 pieces closed NFA sacks of rice; 61 pieces assorted empty sacks, one stand fan, one extension outlet, and 4 pieces of scissors.
Reports said that Lontoc and Valdeviesco noticed the suspects hiding empty NFA rice hence they followed them to the grassy portion of the highway where they saw several people carrying sacks of NFA rice. They also noticed several empty NFA sacks, unlabeled sacks with suspected NFA rice while some of the sacks of NFA rice were hidden along the grassy area, some of which are opened and some were allegedly transferred in unlabeled sacks.The marshals immediately reported it to Dinalupihan PNP station.
Inventory of the seized items were conducted in the presence of Dinalupihan Mayor Maria Angela “Gila” Garcia, Metro Bataan Development Authority General Manager Charlie Pizzaro, NFA Representative Alex G. Batac and Dinalupihan Municipal Police officer-in-charge, Supt. Rizalino Andaya. Samples of the confiscated suspected NFA rice were brought to NFA Bataan for rice sampling analysis.
The suspects were temporarily detained while preparing legal complaint for violation of Section 5, Article 2 of Republic Act 7581 or The Price Act of 1992–the law that provides protection for consumers by stabilizing the prices of basic necessities and prime commodities.