September 5, 2012
Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan, as Chairman of the Committee on Agriculture and Food, on Wednesday ordered the arrest of two resource persons, Cesar Ramirez and Indian national Protik Guha, for contempt. The Committee is the lead committee investigating alleged rice smuggling at Subic Freeport.
Ramirez owns Robson Enterprises, which represents 14 cooperatives that were given permits by the NFA to import up to 27,000 metric tons of rice. He will be detained indefinitely in the Senate for lying under oath.
Guha, on the other hand, is CEO of India-based Amira Foods and is currently in New Delhi. He was cited in contempt for misrepresentation.
“We're getting tired of this evasiveness,” Pangilinan said. “Sawang-sawa na tayo sa mga palusot at pawang kasinungalingan. Ngayong nakakulong na si Ramirez, umaasa kami na magsasabi na siya ng totoo.”
As for Guha, Pangilinan said that the committee will study the amendment to the show cause documents submitted today. The lawmaker reiterated that he expects all resource persons to be present during the next hearing, slated for September 12, 2012.
“We hope this sends a strong signal that the Senate is serious about getting to the bottom of this," Pangilinan reiterated. "Resource persons cannot just lie under oath and expect to get away with it. Kung akala nilang makakalusot ang mga kasinungalingan nila, nagkakamali sila.”