House to continue probe on sugar import mess despite resignation of SRA officials

RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 16 2022 07:29 PM

Vendors sell sugar by the kilo 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 — The House committees on good government and agriculture will continue their investigation into a canceled sugar importation order despite the resignation of some Sugar Regulatory Administration officials, a lawmaker said. 

The joint probe will resume on Monday, Aug. 22, said House Committee on Good Government and Public Accountability chairperson San Jose Del Monte City Rep. Florida Robes. 

"Ang pagpapatuloy ng Briefing ay sa kabila ng pagbibitiw nila SRA Administrator Hermenegildo Serafica at Board Member Atty. Roland Beltran dahil gusto natin kunin ang kanilang panig sa naturang usapin," Robes said in a statement. 

(The briefing will continue despite the resignation of SRA Administrator Hermenegildo Serafica and board member Atty. Roland Beltran because we want to get their side on the said issue.) 

"Ang Briefing na isinagawa ng 2 committee ay upang malinawan ang Kongreso hinggil sa iba’t-ibang isyu na kinakaharap ng ating industriya ng asukal kasama na ang usapin sa supply at pagpapalakas sa ating lokal ng produksyon at mga magsasaka na kasali dito," she added.

(The briefing by the 2 committee aims to enlighten Congress on various issues faced by the sugar industry, including supply and how to strengthen our local production.) 

ACT Teachers Rep. France Castro and Negros Occidental 4th District Rep. Juliet Marie de Leon Ferrer earlier called for the resignation of all the signatories of the importation order 300,000 metric tons of sugar, which Malacañang said President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. did not authorize.

Aside from SRA's Serafica and Beltran, Agriculture Undersecretary Leocadio Sebastian also resigned due to the import order. 

Marcos, who heads the agriculture department, will not interfere with the ongoing probe against the officials, the Palace earlier said. 

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