Gov’t to file cases over onion smuggling next week – Remulla

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 13) — The government is set to file cases in relation to onion smuggling and price manipulation next week, over two months since President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. ordered an investigation, Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla said on Wednesday.

Remulla told reporters that the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) will file the complaint on Sept. 18 after looking into the matter with the Department of Justice (DOJ).

“Sa Monday na nila ifa-file ‘yung mga kaso [They will file the cases on Monday] — price manipulation, profiteering, and other crimes related to the onion price manipulation and onion smuggling crisis that we had for the past, well, the last two months,” Remulla said in a media briefing.

CNN Philippines is trying to get more details on who will be implicated.

In July, the DOJ chief said they were building an economic sabotage case against a network of industry players involved in the alleged onion cartel. At the time, Remulla noted they were looking at six to seven personalities. 

This came shortly after President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. directed the DOJ and the NBI to look into the hoarding and smuggling of agricultural products. Such criminal activities are seen to have resulted in the spike in onion prices, which soared up to ₱700 per kilogram in late 2022.

In his second State of the Nation Address in the same month, Marcos also warned smugglers, hoarders, and price fixers that their days are numbered.