Arthur Juan is a graduate of the Philippine Military Academy at the same class as that of Defense secretary Voltaire Gazmin. Juan served for about eleven years in the Philippine Air force before he transferred to Monterrey, a subsidiary under San Miguel Foods. There, Juan carved a name in the agriculture and food business as an astute player. Meaning, Juan knows what happens in the food production and manufacturing industry. Sources say, Juan is one of the players.
When he was tapped to replace another NFA chief who was himself caught in a corruption scandal, Juan immediately went into action and made his presence felt in the industry. This has always been the case whenever a new "boss" ascends the administrator post or whenever any person becomes the boss of an agency of government or department. Many calls this "shakedowns" when the new "Boss" tries to show his power over his subordinates.
Juan is not new in the rice industry. He is, in fact, a veteran of many "wars".
Sources told me that Juan gave his cell phone number (a Globe Line) to numerous reporters covering the NFA beat. That number was the one which a certain Jojo Soliman claims to be the number used by Juan in his alleged extortion activities.
Soliman's allegations are deathly serious because aside from numerous text messages he received from Juan, the Bulacan-based businessman has an audio recording of Juan telling him or instructing him how to deposit 15 million pesos in several bank accounts.
Juan reportedly told Soliman to deposit fifteen million pesos to several accounts. The NFA chief allegedly volunteered to give presidential adviser on agriculture Kiko Pangilinan and DILG secretary Mar Roxas five million each, and the remaining 5 million for his "troubles".
When Juan was interviewed by Anthony Taberna and Gerry Baja in their afternoon show over at DZMM, Juan categorically denied every single allegation hurled against him.
Juan even said, matter-o-factly, that he does not know the Chinoy-sounding names rattled off by Soliman in his affidavit. In truth, several sources say, those Chinoys were Juan's long-time associates, involved in the trade of rice and other foodstuffs.
This is a very serious matter which the palace should definitely not ignore.
News reports say Juan reportedly tendered his resignation but which was rejected by Secretary Pangilinan. Why?
Meanwhile, the National Bureau of Investigation is now busy gathering more evidence against the embattled head of the country's food administration.