Masaganang Agrikultura, Maunlad na Ekonomiya!

Illegal sellers of DA’s free rice seeds arrested in Region 2

Author: DA-AFID | 22 December 2022

The Department of Agriculture (DA) in partnership with the Philippine National Police’s Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) arrested five suspects who were selling hybrid rice seeds that were given for free as part of the DA’s seed distribution program.

During the intelligence investigation and buy-bust operation held in Rizal, Quirino on December 1, 2022 and in San Juan, Isabela on December 8, 2022, the team arrested Rubenio Sebastian, 44; Salvador De Vera, 32; Delino Campos, 52; Judith Guillermo, 46; and Harvey Guillermo, 24.

They were caught selling DA hybrid rice seeds to a CIDG agent posing as a buyer. The operation team additionally confiscated other pieces of evidence and 53 sacks of DA hybrid rice seeds with an estimated worth of P265,000. The suspects and the confiscated evidences were brought to PNP-CIDG for the necessary documentation.

The PNP-CIDG filed a case for violation of the Consumer Act of the Philippines 1991, Anti-fencing law or Presidential Decree 1612, and Estafa. The DA-Inspectorate and Enforcement office led by Assistant Secretary James Layug will also file additional criminal cases in the succeeding weeks.

Last month, the DA-Cagayan Valley Regional Field Office (RFO 2) led by Director Narciso Edillo issued warnings against the illegal sale of seeds and fake agricultural products. The RFO condemned such illegal acts and urged the public to cooperate and report to authorities any suspicious activities.

“PNP-CIDG fully supports the Department of Agriculture’s mandate to stop agricultural smuggling activities”, PB General Ronald Lee said.

The PNP-CIDG’s cooperation is much appreciated by the Office of DA-Inspectorate and Enforcement.  ###

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