The Ombudsman has filed graft charges against former Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala and 23 others for graft at the Sandiganbayan in connection with the alleged manipulation of the garlic supply from 2010 to 2014.
Ombudsman investigator and prosecution officer Bonifacio Mandrilla included on the charge sheet filed at the Sandiganbayan former Plant Industry Director Clarito Barron, former National Plant Quarantine Services Division chief Luben Marasigan, and current NPQSD head Merle Palacpac.
Mandrilla also included on the charge sheet Lilia Matabang Cruz, Edmond Caguinguin, Rolan Galvez, Rochelle Diaz, Ma. Jackilou Ilagan, Jon Dino de Vera, Napoleon Baldueza, Jose Ollegue, Laila Matabang, Angelita Flores, Gaudioso Diato, Denia Matabang, Jose Angelo Jr., Raffy Torres, Mary Grace Sebastian, Renato Francisco Jr., Rolando Manangan, Orestes Salon, Prudencio Ruedas, and Shiela Marie de la Cruz, who are all from the private sector.
The prosecution alleged that the accused allegedly manipulated the supply that led to a surge in prices of garlic by controlling the importation permit.
It said that 5,022 of the 8,810 import permits issued from 2010 to 2014 went to VIEVA l and approved by Alcala, Barron, Palacpac, and Marasigan despite the existing suspension in the garlic importation.
At the same time, from P165 to P170 per kilo, the price of imported garlic reached P260 to P400 per kilo from January to July 2014.
The prosecution also said that prices of local garlic rose to P250 to P450 per kilo from April to June 2014.