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Villar Grills Bureau Of Plant Industry Regarding Soaring Prices Of Garlic

Senator Cynthia Villar went ballistic at Bureau of Plant Industry officer-in-charge Vivencio Mamaril during an inquiry held by the Senate Committee on Agriculture last Monday regarding the abnormal rise in prices of garlic.
The Senate panel chair heavily berated Mamaril, asking him if he was a member of the cartel that wants to kill the local garlic industry by creating shortages, control product prices and amass profits for themselves. This was after the latter failed to present to the committee the list of names and addresses of traders who had imported garlic but, according to him, the harvest delays in China caused their import permits to be cancelled.
“Tigilan n’yo ako! Nagsasawa na ako sa inyo! Ayaw ibigay ang address? Ayoko nang tumaas ang garlic ng P200. Idedemanda ko kayo. Kina-cartel n’yo ang garlic,” Villar angrily stated.
Upon being asked why there was still a shortage problem despite the fact that traders have kept on importing garlic from China, The BPI OIC then blamed it on traders who applied for import permits but, according to him, ended up not using them.
This reply angered the already irate Senator Villar, making her issue a reminder and veiled threat to Mamaril regarding this being the same reason that caused former president Benigno Aquino III to fire the then director of the Bureau of Plant Industry.
The dressing-down continued as Villar asked Mamaril if he was actually doing something to address the problem once and for all, adding the question of why the BPI did not appear to be doing anything to protect the local garlic industry from demise.
Villar then proceeded to threaten the BPI and its officials with a lawsuit that she herself would file in the event that the cost of garlic jumps up to more than P200 a kilo.
“Ayoko nang marinig na tumaas sa 200 per kilo. Dapat nasa vicinity lang yan ng P100. Tigilan n’yo ako dyan,” the senator boldly said.

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