House panel 'cautious' with 'Sibuyas Queen's' statements

The House Committee on Agriculture and Food is taking a "cautious" approach when it comes to statements made by Lilia Cruz, the alleged "Sibuyas Queen".

Quezon 1st district Rep. Mark Enverga (left) and Lilia Cruz (Contributed photo, HREP website)

Thus, said committee chairman, Quezon 1st district Rep. Wilfrido Mark Enverga even as the panel is expected to dive deeper into its motu proprio inquiry on the supposed hoarding of agricultural goods, including onions, that's happening in the Philippines.

"So far during the proceedings there have been many lapses in her statements. That is why the committee continues to be cautious with her pronouncements," Enverga told the Manila Bulletin.

Cruz, also known as Leah Cruz, has appeared twice as a resource person in ongoing hearings. Her alleged shady transactions with onions have led to her implication in the overpriced onion issue, which solons believe is caused by hoarding.

But Cruz has described herself as an "agri-preneur", and has been a player in the onion, garlic, and vegetable industry for over a decade.

During the panel hearing Tuesday, Cruz participated in a three-hour executive session wherein she and other resource persons shared supposedly sensitive information to House members regarding hoarding and price manipulation of agricultural products.

But at least two solons--Cavite 4th district Rep. Elpidio Barzaga Jr. and Nueva Ecija 3rd district Rep. Ria Vergara--have been quick to assail the quality of Cruz's statements.


"We will ensure that they will be vetted," Enverga said of Cruz's remarks before the committee.

The next hearing on the hoarding issue will be held next week.