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ISAFP chief: ‘Riots over food, oil prices unlikely’

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By Joel Guinto
First Posted 13:25:00 07/11/2008

MANILA, Philippines — The military’s spy chief said on Friday that riots are unlikely to erupt over the continuous escalation of food and fuel prices except in an “extreme” case.

Pursuant to Executive Order 731, issued last June 7, intelligence operatives have been given the added task of monitoring the food and energy situation, on top of their regular counterinsurgency and counterterrorism duties, Brigadier General Romeo Prestoza, commander of the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (ISAFP), said.

Prestoza said his agents have been made to attend seminars of the Department of Energy (DoE) and the Department of Agriculture (DA) “to teach them how to monitor the real situation.”

Asked if food riots could erupt in the Philippines, as in other countries, Prestoza said: “Sa kultura natin, mukhang hindi e [In our culture, it is unlikely]. It could be an extreme case, when your money can’t buy anything.”

“In our rounds in the provinces, the capability [to feed yourself] is there; if you are determined, you won’t go hungry,” he said.

World oil prices have risen to historic highs, triggering weekly price adjustments locally. Earlier this week, the government also approved an adjustment in transport fares.

“This [rising food and oil prices] affects everybody. In other countries there have been food riots; we’re monitoring if we will go to that situation,” Prestoza said.

Asked if the DoE and DA seminars have trained intelligence agents to watch out for danger signs of impending food riots, Prestoza said: “Yes. They have been a big help.”

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Written by joelguinto

FriUTC2008-07-11T10:05:10+00:00UTC07bUTCFri, 11 Jul 2008 10:05:10 +0000 22, 2006 at 12:45 am07

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