De Lima to place rice broker on lookout list

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Tuesday, March 11, 2014


JUSTICE Secretary Leila de Lima said Tuesday she will order the Bureau of Immigration (BI) to monitor the movement of a broker allegedly involved in rice smuggling if formally requested by the Senate, which is holding an investigation into the matter.

"If indeed requested by the (Senate agriculture and food) committee, will do that," de Lima told reporters in a text message.

Earlier Tuesday, Senate agriculture committee chairperson Cynthia Villar asked the BI to place rice broker Elizabeth Faustino under the BI's lookout bulletin.

However, Faustino will not be blocked from leaving the country because the Department of Justice's (DOJ) power to issue watchlist orders against suspected criminals had been blocked by the SC.

Faustino, treasurer of federation of rice cooperatives Biklat, reportedly got financial support from former Philippine Tourism Authority (PTA) administrator Nixon Kua, who was linked to rice smuggling.

She repeatedly snubbed the Senate hearing, prompting Villar to cite her for "conditional contempt." Faustino declined to attend one of the hearings last month, saying she had to undergo gall bladder surgery. (Sunnex)

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