Taking the fall: DA exec with additional powers from Vic Rodriguez resigns amid sugar importation mess

An undersecretary at the Department of Agriculture has stepped down after his unauthorized approval of the importation of 300,000 metric tons of sugar.

DA USec. Leocadio Sebastian resigned Thursday (August 11) after Malacañang announced that President Bongbong Marcos never approved the importation of sugar despite a verbal order from Executive Secretary Vic Rodriguez.

“I sincerely offer my apologies, Your Excellency, for my having approved Sugar Order no. 4 on your behalf, and through the authority you had vested upon me,” Sebastian wrote in his resignation letter.

“It has become clear that the same was not in keeping with your administration’s desired direction for the sugar industry, I take accountability and responsibility for its consequences.,” he added.

Sebastian was former Secretary William Dar’s chief of staff. In July, Rodriguez gave him the power to head DA’s procurement and operations units.

Malacañang has launched an investigation involving the signatories of the importation order, adding that heads will roll.

On Friday (August 12), Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles said Sebastian’s resignation doesn’t clear him of criminal liability.

“Sebastian is not yet off the hook sa criminal investigation. Titingnan kung ano ang findings ng investigation,” she said.

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