'Extensive' probe on sugar import mess may cover other DA issues: Palace

Job Manahan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 12 2022 03:03 PM | Updated as of Aug 12 2022 03:44 PM

Vendors sell sugar by the kilo at the Bagong Silang public market in North Caloocan on Aug. 11, 2022. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News
Vendors sell sugar by the kilo at the Bagong Silang public market in North Caloocan on Aug. 11, 2022. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA — Malacañang on Friday said the ongoing investigation into what it called an "illegal" resolution authorizing sugar imports might cover other issues concerning the Department of Agriculture, which President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. heads. 

The investigation will likely not be limited to the import resolution that the Sugar Regulatory Administration issued, said Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles. 

"Wala lang po kaming ipapahayag sa ngayon tungkol sa mga plano (we do not have any statement on our plans for now) because the investigation will probably cover a more extensive review than simply the resolution that was issued by the Sugar Regulatory Board," she said in a televised briefing. 

The Palace earlier this week said Marcos rejected the proposal to import 300,000 metric tons of sugar as it hit P100 per kilo in wet markets. 

Malacañang said the official who signed the import order on behalf of Marcos had no authority to do so. The resolution, it added, was "illegal" because Marcos did not convene any meeting with the Sugar Regulatory Administration. 

Cruz-Angeles repeated that "heads will roll" if there are "sufficient findings." 

"Was this attended with malice, or was it negligence? Was it simply bad judgment? Kailangan malaman natin itong mga ito, at kung sino pa pa ang involved dito. So that’s how things stand right now, continuing po yung ating imbestigasyon," she added.
 
(We need to know these and who else are involved. Our investigation is ongoing.) 
 
Preventive suspension orders have yet to be issued pending the result of the probe, Cruz-Angeles earlier said. She also assured due process for those under investigation.