Acting solo: Vic Rodriguez behind sugar importation plan sans Marcos’ approval – Palace

The hullabaloo over an unauthorized order to import 300,000 metric tons of sugar seems to have stemmed from a verbal order given by Executive Secretary Vic Rodriguez that was contrary to President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s plan.

Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles confirmed Thursday that prior to the release of the unauthorized Sugar Order #4 that allowed the Sugar Regulatory Administration to bring in bags upon bags of sugar from abroad, Rodriguez ordered the creation of an “importation plan.”

“It was a directive actually. It was verbally issued so that the President can make a determination later on, whether or not the importation is actually warranted,” she said in a press briefing.

Angeles clarified it was not yet a mandate” to import, as it would later turn out that Marcos rejected such a move as concurrent head of the Department of Agriculture.

“You don’t convene the Sugar Regulatory Board in the absence of the President and in the absence of any such approval on his part. He did not approve the convening,” she added. “You can only convene the board with the assent, explicit assent of the President; and he did not make such an agreement.”

An investigation is underway covering all of the signatories of the importation order, especially the alleged forging of Marcos’ signature.

ERC to look into complaints of overcharging by power firms

Numerous complaints on increasing electricity rates have prompted the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) to launch an investigation on the accuracy and reasonableness of the generation rates being passed on by distribution utilities (DUs) to its consumers.