‘My conscience is clear’: Ex-SRA chief Serafica denies alleged kickback on sugar importation mess | Inquirer News

‘My conscience is clear’: Ex-SRA chief Serafica denies alleged kickback on sugar importation mess

/ 03:57 PM September 08, 2022
Hermenegildo Serafica

FILE PHOTO: Former Sugar Regulatory Administration chief Hermenegildo Serafica during the continuation of the joint hybrid hearing of the Senate blue ribbon committee and the committee on agriculture, food and agrarian reform on the alleged irregular sugar importation order, Tuesday, August 30, 2022. (Joseph Vidal and Voltaire F. Domingo / Senate PRIB)

MANILA, Philippines — Former Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) chief Hermenegildo Serafica has denied allegations that the botched order for sugar importation may lead to kickbacks.

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Serafica made the statement during the hearing of the House Committee on Good Government and Public Accountability, when Kabataan Rep. Raoul Manuel asked him if there is truth to Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri kickback claims.

“Your honor, in this case of [Sugar Order No.4], nobody influenced the members of the board, including me,” Serafica, who resigned following the recent controversy on sugar importation last month, said during the hearing.

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“There is no consideration of whatsoever, your honor. My conscience is clear. My conscience is clear,” he added.

Citing industry sources, Zubiri said that 300,000 metric tons of sugar is six million bags, and a P50 kickback for each back will amount to P300 million, while P100 kickback for each bag will translate to P600 million.

It can be recalled that the SRA recently published on its website Sugar Order No. 4 authorizing the importation of 300,000 metric tons of sugar.

Malacañang later on denied the document, saying President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. junked the proposed importation.

However, Executive Secretary Victor Rodriguez has revealed that it was him who asked the SRA to draft an order for the proposed importation of 300,000 MT of sugar, but he faulted resigned Agriculture Undersecretary Leocadio Sebastian for supposedly signing the import order arbitrarily on behalf of the President without his approval.

JMS
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TAGS: Hermenegildo Serafica, Kickback, Leocadio Sebastian, Raoul Manuel, sugar importation, Sugar Regulatory Administration
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