NBI finds no enough evidence linking Alcala to alleged garlic cartel — De Lima

By , on January 9, 2015


Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary Proceso J. Alcala (center), in a press briefing Thursday (Jan. 8), denied involvement in the so-called "garlic cartel". Also in photo (left/right) are Atty. Emerson U. Palad, DA Undersecretary for Field Operations and Spokesman; and OIC-Director Paz Benavidez II, of the Bureau of Plant Industry. (PNA photo by Jess M. Escaros Jr.)
Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary Proceso J. Alcala (center), in a press briefing Thursday (Jan. 8), denied involvement in the so-called “garlic cartel”. Also in photo (left/right) are Atty. Emerson U. Palad, DA Undersecretary for Field Operations and Spokesman; and OIC-Director Paz Benavidez II, of the Bureau of Plant Industry. (PNA photo by Jess M. Escaros Jr.)

MANILA — Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Leila M. De Lima on Thursday said that the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) found no enough evidence linking Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary Proceso Alcala to the alleged garlic cartel.

The alleged garlic cartel was the reason behind the “spike” in the price of garlic from January to June last year.

De Lima said that the NBI had not gathered sufficient evidence against Alcala.

Because of this, De Lima said, Alcala was not included in the more than a hundred respondents charged before the Office of the Ombudsman (Ombudsman) for violation of the Anti-Graft Law and direct bribery.

It was reported in a newspaper on Thursday that whistleblower Lilybeth Valenzuela allegedly linked Alcala to the garlic cartel.

In the findings released by the NBI, among those charged before the Ombudsman was former Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) Director Clarito Barron, as well as the alleged “dummies” of Lilia Cruz who cornered 75 percent of the total volume of garlic importation in the Philippines by virtue of the import permits issued by the BPI.