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Three people are cited for contempt by the House subcommittee in the onion hoarding investigation.

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Three people were held in contempt by the House of Representatives Committee on Agriculture on Tuesday for refusing to provide a list of customers who stored red onions in their facility during the price rise for red onions in the last quarter of 2022.

Efren Zoleta Jr., the president and general manager of ARGO Trading, as well as John Patrick Sevilla, the operation manager, and Jan Ryan Cruz, the legal advisor, were all found in contempt.

As a result, Zoleta, Sevilla, and Cruz would be imprisoned in the congressional buildings for a minimum of 10 days in accordance with House regulations.

Sevilla, who had attended the hearing on Tuesday for allegations of prince manipulation and onion hoarding, was taken into custody right away.

Cruz and Zoleta, who were not present during the hearings, have been ordered to be found by the House Sergeant at Arms for eventual detention.

Speaker Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez supported the panel’s decision to cite the three people for contempt, which was made under the panel’s chairmanship of Quezon 1st District Rep. Mark Enverga.

Romualdez issued a statement saying, “I am in full favor of the Committee on Agriculture’s decision.

He emphasized that the committee’s action is consistent with the use of its authority to conduct the congressional investigation intended to halt price manipulation and onion hoarding.

“Simulan ang mga hearings na ito, malinaw ang layunin namin. The presyo of the sibuyas in the lengthy madaling panahon is kalang maipababa. If the kartel’s bumubuo is what the nagmamanipula of the bilihin’s presyo is, then kalangang makilala. Our goals when we started these hearings were clear: to lower the price of onions as fast as possible. Kailangang buwagin ang mga kartel na ito na nagpapahirap sa bayan. Identification of cartel participants who are manipulating commodity prices is necessary. “These cartels should be destroyed because they are the bane of our people,” he stated.

Romualdez instructed Enverga’s panel to look into the matter on February 5 and maybe suggest that “unscrupulous traders and hoarders of onion and garlic” be charged with economic sabotage.

The House leadership, he added, “will not permit anyone to make a mockery of the hearings now being held by the Committee on Agriculture and Food.”

“We anticipate the sincerity of every invited resource person. Nothing more or less. I advise individuals who have been invited to the hearings to speak clearly and completely. In the jail facility, if you’re being honest, just say the truth, Committee. You’ll wind up in the jail facility if you just mock the Committee, he warned. (

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