Two rice traders from Cagayan de Oro are facing charges after illegally importing over glutinous rice worth an estimated P82.68 million.
The traders were identified as Elmer Cañeta of EC Peninsula Commercial and Michael Abella of New Dawn Enterprises.
The two have violated Section 3601 of the Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippines (TCCP) for the unlawful importation of 1.3 million kilograms (1,378 Metric Tons) of rice; and Section 29 of Presidential Decree (PD) Number 4, as amended by PD No 1485 for failure to obtain import permits.
The traders failed to secure permits from the National Food Authority (NFA) for the rice importation. In its import documents, New Dawn and EC Peninsula intently misdeclared the items as gypsum boards, plaster board, kitchenware and tiles.
The illegal rice shipments arrived in November last year at the Port of Cagayan De Oro.