House detains 2 individuals tagged in onion price manipulation

enablePagination: false
maxItemsPerPage: 10
maxPaginationLinks: 10

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 15) — Two individuals tagged in onion price manipulation turned themselves in at the House of Representatives, the chairperson of the Committee on Agriculture and Food confirmed Tuesday.

In a statement, committee chair and Quezon Rep. Mark Enverga said that ARGO Trading president and general manager Efren Zoleta Jr. and legal counsel Jan Ryan Cruz surrendered to House Sergeant-at-Arms Napoleon Taas around 1:30 p.m. Monday, and they will be detained for 10 days.

Zoleta and Cruz will join ARGO Trading operation manager John Patrick Sevilla, who has been held for safekeeping at the House of Representatives detention center since March 7.

The panel has cited in contempt the three officials of the cold storage facility for failing to provide documents sought by lawmakers seeking to establish the possible hoarding and price manipulation of onions.

House Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez earlier signed an arrest order for Zoleta and Cruz after they failed to attend the last committee hearing.

“I take this opportunity to reiterate the warning of our Speaker: We will not hesitate to use the full powers of the House of Representatives to ferret out who were behind the price manipulation of onion and other agricultural products,” Enverga said.

Ipakukulong din po namin ang mga magtatangkang magsinungaling sa aming mga hearing,” he added.

[Translation: We will also detain anyone who dares to lie during our hearings.]