DOJ tells gov’t agencies: Cooperate in agri smuggling probe or face complaints

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 25) — The Department of Justice (DOJ) on Monday warned government agencies that they will be slapped with complaints if they will not cooperate in the agricultural smuggling probe.

Pagka hindi nag-cooperate ang kahit anong party, dadalhin namin sa Ombudsman 'pag ito po ay nasa gobyerno…Wala hong puwedeng tumanggi na tumulong sa DOJ,” Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla told CNN Philippines’ The Source on Monday.

[Translation: If they do not cooperate, we will bring them to the Ombudsman if they are from the government. No one can refuse to help the DOJ.]

Remulla earlier said agricultural smuggling cases were usually dismissed due to lack of evidence needed to pursue these.

To address the problem, he said the DOJ has adopted a case buildup system “where prosecutors are supposed to elicit from the complainants the evidence that have to be adduced to pursue a case.”

Remulla also noted that substantial basis must be established before prosecutors dismiss smuggling cases.

Last week, Remulla said complaints against six former and current government officials were filed over their alleged link to onion smuggling in the country.

The DOJ is also coordinating with the Bureau of Customs regarding rice smuggling cases, he added.