SRA administrator resigns following sugar import mess

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 16 2022 11:01 AM | Updated as of Aug 16 2022 06:35 PM

MANILA (UPDATE)— Hermenegildo Serafica, one of the signatories of the sugar import order canceled by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., has resigned as administrator of the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA).

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In a letter dated August 15, Executive Secretary Vic Rodriguez told Serafica that his resignation has been accepted by Marcos Jr.

It was indicated there that Serafica resigned on August 10, same day the President rejected the order and a day before Agriculture Undersecretary Leocadio Sebastian resigned.

He also confirmed the resignation but declined to give further comment on the matter.

Serafica is the third signatory of the controversial Sugar Order No. 4 who resigned from his post, after the said resolution that supposedly ordered the importation of 300,000 metric tons of sugar was deemed "illegal" by Malacañang.

The other signatory, Aurelio Gerardo Valderrama has yet to give any comment as of this story's posting.

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Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles confirmed the resignation of the two officials from the Sugar Regulatory Administration. She earlier said the Palace was unaware that the order was uploaded on the SRA website.

Agriculture Undersecretary Leocadio Sebastian, who was identified by the Palace as the one who approved the order on Marcos' behalf, was the first to resign after recognizing his lapses.

On Monday, SRA Board Member Roland Beltran also resigned, citing health reasons, and clarified that his resignation "is without prejudice to any investigation that may be conducted in connection with the issuance of Sugar Order No. 4."

Cruz-Angeles over the weekend said the President, who heads the agriculture portfolio, would not interfere with the ongoing probe against the officials. 

Sebastian is still not off the hook from possible cases despite his resignation, she added.

—with reports from Jervis Manahan, Job Manahan, and Raffy Cabrisante, ABS-CBN News

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