'Moderate your greed,' irate Romualdez tells agri product hoarders

House Speaker Martin Romualdez gave his most ominous message yet to hoarders of agricultural products on Tuesday, Feb. 7, as he told them to "moderate their greed".

House Speaker Martin Romualdez (Video screenshot from Speaker’s office)

"Stop these foolishness, bring back the supply, stabilize it, work with us. And if not, you’re against us—your days are numbered," a visibly irate Romualdez said on the sidelines of memorandum of agreement (MOA) signing at the Romualdez Hall in the House of Representatives.

The Leyte 1st district congressman was referring to businessmen involved in hoarding onions, garlic, and other agricultural good. He said that the practice has caused prices of the goods to skyrocket, thus placing great burden on common Filipinos.

"Obviously one of the top and burning issues today—the high and soaring prices of basic commodities like sugar and now onions and even garlic. We’d like to tell the public that the House of Representatives will use all its resources, and employ all its efforts to ensure that we bring back stable prices and stable supply of these basic commodities," he said, addressing the room.

"We know that there are sufficient supplies of these basic commodities and there is no reason why the prices should be soaring," said Romualdez, cousin of President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr.

"So it only points out to one thing, there is hoarding, there is price manipulation. So we are warning those who are behind these nefarious activities—that your days are numbered, the House will be going after you," he added.

In a subsequent chance interview after the MOA signing, the normally mild-mannered Romualdez added the following tough remarks: "You know, my message is: moderate your greed, release the supply of these basic commodities –these vegetables, whether they be onion, garlic."

"Moderate the supply, moderate your greed, give us fair prices—if not, your days are numbered, we’re going after all of you," he said.

Probe starts next week

Romualdez said he has already ask the House Committee on Agriculture and Food "to get to the bottom" of the hoarding issue.

In a separate interview Tuesday, Quezon 1st district Rep. Wilfrido Mark Enverga, chairman of the agriculture and food panel, revealed that they would start their inquiry on the hoarding issue next week, Feb. 14.

The investigation is motu propio in nature.

Enverga said his panel is looking to invite alleged hoarders of agricultural products as they may be identified by the Department of Agriculture (DA) and other "sources".


"We know for a fact na open secret na ito. So hihingi kami ng listahan mula sa Kagawaran ng Pagsasaka rin (So we will ask for a list from the Department of Agriculture), also with our other sources of our congressmen, our fellow congressmen, and yung ibang katulong po natin sa law enforcement (and from our other partners in law enforcement)," he added.

Earlier, Romualdez threatened to have alleged hoarders "arrested" if they refuse to cooperate with the Enverga panel.