‘No person pressured me,’ says resigned Agriculture exec on 300K MT sugar import

RESIGNED Agriculture undersecretary Leocadio Sebastian testified on Tuesday that nobody pressured him to enable the importation of 300,000 metric tons of sugar.

Sebastian made the declare through the first hybrid listening to of the Senate blue ribbon committee on the alleged irregular sugar importation below Sugar Order 4 (SO4) which he signed.

“There was no person who pushed me or pressured me on this matter,” Sebastian replied to Sen. Rafael Tulfo when the senator requested him who compelled him to signal the SO4.

The difficulty stemmed from the publication of SO4, authorizing the importation of further sugar on the web site of the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA), which the Palace instantly disowned.

Senate President Juan Miguel “Migz” Zubiri and Sen. Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada requested the identical query to Sebastian however didn’t reply them instantly. As a substitute, he justified the necessity to import sugar.

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In the meantime, the senators directed former SRA administrator Hermenegildo Serafica to bodily attend the Senate investigation after Estrada observed that he was attending the inquiry just about.

Estrada requested Serafica why he can not be bodily current however was capable of attend a parallel investigation on the Home of Representatives.

Serafica stated that he was not in a position to instantly adjust to the Senate well being protocol. Estrada informed him that the Senate will organize for his antigen take a look at when he arrives.

Sen. Francis Tolentino presided over the Senate Committee on Accountability of Public Officers and Investigations (blue ribbon) on the sugar importation scandal following Zubiri’s privilege speech on the controversy behind SO4.

Tolentino, in his opening assertion, stated the goal of the committee listening to is “to unravel and unpack the explanations behind Sugar Order No. 4, the alleged synthetic scarcity, hoarding, and what precipitated the manager department.

“This physique can also be wanting ahead to what the manager has executed to date and what the legislative physique might be doing after submitting of suggestions,” he added.

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