DAVAO CITY – City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte on Sunday ordered the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) to investigate the issue of alleged “fake rice” in the city.
“I would direct the CIDG to take over. I am ordering Colonel (Vicente Danao Jr.) to turn over available evidence to CIDG and CIDG would take over the investigation,” said Duterte.
The mayor said he would turn over the matter to the CIDG to have a “more focused investigation and to expedite the matter.”
Just recently, the Davao City Police Office (DCPO) organized an inter-agency task force to probe the selling of fake rice here.
The task force is composed of the National Food Authority (NFA), CIDG XI, police provincial offices, Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). The task force is headed by DCPO director Senior Superintendent Danao.
DCPO spokesperson Senior Inspector Milgrace Driz said that the Special Investigation Task Group (SITG) Synthetic Rice was an initiative by the DCPO “to conduct further investigation on where this fake rice came from.”
“We will continue to investigate and monitor the root cause of this issue,” said Driz.
Driz also said that rice retailers should be responsible on what they are selling.
“For rice retailers, you already know the difference of fake rice and not, if it is consumable or not. You should not sell anything that is harmful to the public,” she said.
Meanwhile, the Food Development Center (FDC) released the initial results of the laboratory tests performed on alleged fake rice samples.
FDC in Taguig City confirmed the presence of “contaminant” in the samples submitted by a concerned citizen here. However, initial findings are not conclusive whether the rice sample submitted was really fake rice.
FDC said that although the contaminant is not poisonous, continuous intake may cause harm to the human body.
Duterte said that rice retailers will have to make sure that what they are selling is safe to the public.
“Simply, you have to work overtime. It is your duty and obligation to assure that what you are selling to the consuming public is safe to digest,” he said.
“You fail on that, don’t give me the reason that you do not know, that is not a good excuse. Because retailers should know what they are selling,” he added.
He added that retailers will be held accountable if proven that he is selling fake rice.
“You must know your trade, otherwise do not give me the excuse that you do not know. I will not forgive you. If someone (dies), I will sue you,” said Duterte.
He said that illegal suppliers will be charged with economic sabotage under the Anti-Agricultural Smuggling Act.(davaotoday.com)