MANILA, Philippine- Nagbabala si opposition Senator Risa Hontiveros laban sa “corporate and oligarch interests” matapos maitalaga ni Pangulong Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. si Francisco Tiu-Laurel Jr. bilang Agriculture secretary.
Kahit sinusuportahan nito ang pagkakatalaga sa full-time DA chief, sinabi ni Hontiveros na may ilang “murmurs of conflict of interest.”
Nagsisilbing presidente si Laurel ng Frabelle Fishing Corporation, na itinayo noong 1966 bilang small trawl fishing company bago simulan ang seining small pelagic fish tungo sa tuna.
“Our commercial fishing fleets have recently resisted efforts of the DA to monitor and regulate their operations. I firmly believe that the government’s commitment to food security and environmental protection should not be compromised for corporate and oligarchic interests,” ayon kay Hontiveros.
“We will await Secretary Tiu-Laurel when he goes before the Commission on Appointments, so these issues affecting his capacity to lead the DA can be scrutinized and the concerns of our peasant farmers and fisher-folk discussed,” aniya.
Umaasa si Hontiveros na matutugunan ni Laurel ang matagal nang isyung nakaaapekto sa magsasaka, mangingisda at iba pang miyembro ng agricultural sectors.
Kabilang sa mga ito ang pagkakalma ng produktong agrikultural, pagpapaunlad ng produksyon at kita ng magsasaka at mangingisda, pagsugpo sa kartel na malalim na nakatanim sa sektor, ayon kay Hontiveros.
“These problems are complex and compounding and need immediate action,” aniya.
Ipinaalala naman ni Senate Minority Leader Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III kay Laurel ang constitutional requirement sa divestment mula sa business interests ng cabinet members.
Paglilinaw naman ni Presidential Communications Secretary Cheloy, “As per Sec. Laurel, he already divested his interests from his companies.”
Samantala, sinabi ni Senador Alan Peter Cayetano na good timing ang pagkakalatalaga kay Laurel. “It coincides with the budget hearings in the Senate, presenting an opportunity for Secretary Laurel to articulate his vision for the Department of Agriculture and the agriculture sector as a whole. I look forward to hearing his plans.”
“Secretary Laurel’s appointment also comes at a critical time for the country as the agriculture industry faces pressing challenges, including persistent productivity issues and rising prices. These challenges pose a serious threat to our food security,” paliwanag ni Cayetano.
“Through GOD’S Grace, our nation expects the new Secretary to use his experience and business acumen to develop a strategic roadmap that will drive innovation, enhance productivity, and create a more resilient and competitive agricultural landscape for the benefit of our farmers and our people,” dagdag ng senador.
“We look forward to the positive impact of his leadership in revitalizing this crucial sector for our nation’s prosperity,” giit pa niya.
Umaasa din si Senador Grace Poe na matutugunan ni Laurel ang problema sa smuggling sa agricultural sector.
“As the first order of the day, we hope the new DA chief would take to heart the President’s warning in his SONA against smugglers, hoarders and price fixers,” aniya.
Ipinaalala naman ni Senador JV Ejercito ang kanyang alalahanin sa isyu sa DA binggil sa importasyon.
“Since he is already an established and a very successful businessman a billionaire, and trusted by PBBM, that he might just be the right person to fix the problems of the Department of Importation este Agriculture!” ayon kay Ejercito.
Bukod sa nabanggit na mambabatas, sinuportahan din ang appointment ni Laurel nina Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri, Senators Cynthia Villar, Sherwin Gatchalian, Ramon Revilla Jr. Francis Escudero, Sonny Angara, at Bong Go. Ernie Reyes