A retired policeman cooperating as an informant for the Presidential Anti-Smuggling Group was perforated by a .45 outside of his home a day after refusing a bribe from a known rice smuggler. The rat, 47 year old Nurhassan Hadjula y Hassam, took three bullets to the chest and head by an unknown assailant fleeing on foot. The government is pledging financial aid to the family of the victim.
There are signs of a global rice shortage, likely due to malevolent speculation leading to hoarding and skyrocketing prices. Rice smuggling has become a hotbutton political issue in Asian countries, prompting a dangerous, cartel-like reaction by smuggling rings. In the Philippines, the state infrastructure is also partially to blame, as inadequate transportation leads to a 25% production loss to crop yields. As unstable governments attempt to combat rampant smuggling, expect an escalation in the use of informants and perhaps in violence as well. Food shortages are never pretty.