SRA board member resigns following sugar import mess

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 15 2022 10:39 AM

MANILA — Roland Beltran, one of the signatories of the sugar importation order cancelled by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., has tendered his resignation from the Sugar Board of the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA).

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In his letter to Executive Secretary Vic Rodriguez dated August 14, Beltran said he is resigning due to health reasons but clarified that "this is without prejudice to any investigation that may be conducted in connection with the issuance of Sugar Order No. 4."

He had signed as miller's representative in the said order.

Beltran also clarified in his letter that his vote was conditional subject to the compliance of provisions of law, and that it was negated with the non-compliance of the conditions set forth.

He noted that he had already left the SRA in July 1 as he reached the end of his tour of duty in the agency, but resumed due to an email from the SRA informing him that he is on holdover capacity.

Before Beltran, Agriculture Undersecretary Leocadio Sebastian also stepped down from his duties and also apologized to Marcos for approving the sugar order and using the President's signature without his consent.

“I sincerely offer my apologies, Your Excellency, for my having approved Sugar Order no.4 on your behalf, and through the authority you have vested upon me…I take accountability and responsibility for its consequences,” Sebastian had said in his resignation letter dated August 11.

"I humbly offer to be relieved of my delegated authorities and the assignments and responsibilities in my capacity as Chief of Staff and Undersecretary of the Department of Agriculture," Sebastian added.

Press Secretary Trixie Cruz Angeles earlier said that the order was "illegal," and that they were unaware that it was uploaded on the SRA website.

—with report from Jervis Manahan, ABS-CBN News

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