Hontiveros Wants Life Sentence vs Gov’t Staff Linked in Smuggling

Risa Hontiveros Pushes Life Sentence vs Gov’t Staff Involved in Smuggling

Senator Risa Hontiveros pushes a life sentence against government staff involved in smuggling and conspiring with smugglers.

Hontiveros recently stated that she intends to pursue government employees and officials who cooperate with agricultural smugglers. Hontiveros revised Republic Act No. 10845, or the Anti-Agricultural Smuggling Act, in Senate Bill No. 2203, which would penalize government employees and officials proven to have cooperated with large-scale agricultural smugglers.

“Since the law’s passage in 2016, even if there have been many reports of the seizure of smuggled products, there has been no prosecution of individuals, groups, or corporations under the law,” said Hontiveros in the resolution.

Hontiveros Smuggling Life Sentence

“There has been no prosecution of government officials for facilitating and abetting acts of agricultural smuggling that amount to large-scale economic sabotage. As a result, smuggling activities continue with impunity,” he added.

According to the plan, any employee or authority who enables importation into the country without a corresponding import authorization is committing economic sabotage. Anyone who violates the law faces life in jail and a fine of double the value of the agricultural commodity, plus tax, tariffs, and other penalties, plus interest.

“The approval or issuance by a public employee or officer of any license, declaration, clearance, or permit, knowing that it is manifestly unlawful, inequitable, or irregular, will also be considered economic sabotage,” she said.

“Agricultural smuggling is costing the government billions of pesos a year in lost revenues. The smuggling of regulated agricultural commodities has also led to high prices for consumers, the violation of our competition laws, and most importantly, the further decline of our domestic agricultural sector,” Hontiveros said in the explanatory note.

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