Senator Bato dela Rosa is urging Executive Secretary Victor Rodriguez to ensure that the Marcos administration will file cases against sugar hoarders and price manipulators.

“Sir, ‘yung mga nahuli n’yong hoarder…tuluyan na ninyong kasuhan [kung] may dapat kasuhan du’n sa mga raids na ginawa ninyo. People are waiting kung meron talaga makakasuhan dito sa mga hoarder na ito’t mga price manipulators,” Dela Rosa told Rodriguez, who attended the hearing of the Senate Blue Ribbon last Tuesday on the controversial unauthorized Sugar Order No. 4 (SO No. 4) to import 300,000 metric tons of sugar.

Dela Rosa, vice chairperson of the Blue Ribbon Committee, was not convinced by the justification given by Leocadio Sebastian, resigned undersecretary of DA, for signing SO No. 4.

SO No. 4 was immediately trashed because it was not authorized or approved by the President, who also sits as the Secretary of the Department of Agriculture (DA) and heads the Sugar Regulatory Board. 

Dela Rosa also welcomed the government’s stepped-up crackdown on suspected sugar hoarders and smugglers with the initial raids conducted recently by the Bureau of Customs on several warehouses in Pampanga and Caloocan City.  

Dela Rosa, the vice chairperson of the Blue Ribbon Committee, was not convinced by the justification given by Leocadio Sebastian, who resigned as DA undersecretary, for signing SO No. 4.

“Alam mo sa amin, sa pulis at military, maraming namamatay sa maling akala. ‘Pag nag-assume ka nang nag-assume, ay talagang lives are at stake…So alam niyo ‘yung ginawa niyong assumption is parang ako, kung ako ordinaryong tao, I cannot accept that reason na sabi niyo napirmahan mo ‘yung Sugar Order Number 4…for and behalf of the President being the secretary of Agriculture, napirmahan mo ‘yan dahil sa maling akala. Parang hindi ko matanggap-tanggap ‘yung rason na ‘yan. Meron pa bang mas malaking rason diyan aside sa maling akala?” Dela Rosa asked Sebastian who was also present in the hearing. 

“People are wondering, people are speculating. Meron pa sigurong mas malaking rason ‘yan, bakit mo pinirmahan, hindi lang sa maling akala. Ako, I don’t buy that justification. Forgive me for my frankness. Maling akala? I will not buy that explanation. Please give me a more satisfying explanation,” Dela Rosa continued.

The Blue Ribbon hearing on the sugar fiasco is set to continue next week.



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