‘A failure of intelligence’: Binay laments Tiangco’s inclusion in intel report on agri smuggling

Published June 28, 2022, 4:14 PM

by Hannah Torregoza 

Senator Nancy Binay on Tuesday, June 28, spoke in defense of Navotas Mayor Toby Tiangco saying the inclusion of the mayor’s name in a Senate committee report is a result of failed intelligence on the part of the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency or NICA.

Tiangco’s name is included in the list of alleged personalities involved in agricultural smuggling that is part of the Senate Committee of the Whole report.

Binay explained it is impossible to tag Tiangco as a protector since he has been very active and vocal about the smuggling activities and diversion of marine and aquatic products in Navotas City which are being imported by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR).

“Napaka-imposible at no way na maging protector si Mayor Toby (It’s very impossible for Mayor Toby to be a protector). I know him personally and I believe his name shouldn’t have been in the list in the first place,” Binay said in a statement.

“Sa totoo lang, ever since, sobrang active ni Mayor Toby laban dyan sa pagpuslit ng mga BFAR imported products. Sa mga nangyayaring milagro doon sa mga entry points sa Navotas, si Mayor mismo ang sumulat sa DA para i-report ang smuggling—pero dedma lang ang DA (The truth is, ever since, Mayor Toby has been very active against the smuggling of BFAR imported products. It was the mayor himself who reported and wrote the Department of Agriculture about the smuggling activities happening at the entry points in Navotas, but the DA did not pay him any attention),” she said.

Binay recalled that the city government of Navotas itself filed a case against the alleged smugglers before the Department of Justice (DOJ), precisely because it seems the DA was not interested to solve smuggling activities in the area.

“So, ganito na ba ang intel natin (So is this how our intel works)—all of a sudden we turn the table against the whistleblower?” the senator pointed out.

The lawmaker also noted that the inclusion of Tiangco in the NICA report submitted to the Senate lacks details and explanation, has no material basis, and is a product of misinformed guesses.

“Intel reports should provide clarity and guidance for us senators. We have seen NICA reports culled from fake sources and social media posts being submitted to Senate. Oftentimes, laziness and incompetence are the reasons why these reports backfire—NICA somehow fails to fact check and, most often, gets the facts wrong,” she emphasized.

“Ang nakakalungkot (What is sad is) faulty intel can damage and scar innocent people’s reputation,” she added.

In previous Senate committee hearings, Binay noted senators have often questioned faulty intel reports from NICA which are later discovered gathered from unverified open sources, unreliable intel, and Facebook

During one of the Senate hearings, a NICA officer had admitted what they have is an F6 security information classification.

In the Intel community, information classified and rated as F6 usually comes from an unknown or new source without reputation.