MANILA -- Senator Francis Pangilinan wants the Senate to investigate a supposed government report that predicts a looming rice shortage, saying it might be used to drive rice prices up.

He said the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (Nica) report might lead to speculation among rice traders.

“Speculation is one of the problems we’ve identified and this needs to be addressed. In this particular case, if we find out that it is manufactured and that unscrupulous traders are behind this, then they should be punished.”

This week, it was reported that a Nica study allegedly released in February warned of a possible rice shortage.

Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte, on Tuesday, said no such report was released by Nica.(Jonathan de Santos/Sunnex)