Pimentel favors DA overhaul by BBM

Incoming Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Pimentel III on Tuesday, June 28 said he favors an overhaul of the Department of Agriculture (DA) following allegations that some officials of the DA and the Bureau of Customs have been protecting alleged smugglers.

‘’May power naman sya sa mga co-terminus, mga protected sa security of tenure there is a way also to assign them into diff position (He has the power over those with co-terminus appointments while there is also a way of assigning into different positions those who enjoy security of tenure),’’ Pimentel said.

In a list inserted last June 1 by outgoing Senate President Vicente C. Sotto III into the report of the Senate Committee of the Whole on its investigation into unabated agri-fishery smuggling operations were the names of 22 persons listed as alleged smugglers or protectors of smuggling rings.

As the incoming temporary DA secretary, the President-elect would have time to know those or undertake personal survey in the different divisions or offices of the DA, Pimentel said.

‘’If the incoming president is correct as his personal concern, yung sinabi niya there is a need to organize the internal organization of the da tama yun. fight smuggling with all his might (When he said that there is a need to organize the internal organization at the DA..he is right. Fight smuggling with all his might),’’ he added.

The former Senate President said that the Ombudsman should investigate the case because under the Constitution, the Omudsman should be proactive.

‘’Pwede siya hingi ng committee report. Sulat siya (The Ombudsman can ask for the committee report. He should write),’’ he added.

Pimentel, a bar topnotcher, said the Ombudsman could unilaterally undertake an investigation into a very big problem.

‘’Napakalaking problema yan, di ito ordinary committee sa Senate (This is a big problem...it is not an ordinary committee of the Senate). it is the {Senate} committee of the whole ganun na rin sana si ombudsman (which should be patterned by the Ombudsman). meron na rin siguro sya idea (He may have an idea),’’ he pointed out.