New year, fresh start! Ex-DA Usec Sebastian ‘very much delighted’ to be cleared in sugar imports mess

Former Department of Agriculture (DA) undersecretary Leocadio Sebastian is elated over the dismissal of administrative charges against him in connection with the unauthorized order to import 300,000 metric tons of sugar last year.

“My family and I are very much delighted that the administrative case against me and other officials of the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) in relation to the issuance of Sugar Order No.4 Series 2022 was dismissed and that we were absolved,” Sebastian said in a statement.

The veteran agricultural expert expressed gratitude to President Ferdinand Marcos for “understanding” the circumstances that led to Sebastian and other former SRA officials issuing SO 4 in August 2022.

“The resolution of the administrative charges against us will enable us to move forward from a traumatic and challenging experience,” he said.

“I take note of their admonition to be more prudent and circumspect in future actions,” Sebastian said.

Based on the investigation conducted by the Office of the President, Sebastian and the other former SRA officials issued SO 4 in good faith.

Also cleared by Malacañang were former SRA administrator Hermenegildo Serafica and former SRA board members Roland Beltran and Aurelio Gerardo Valderrama Jr.

Sebastian resigned as DA undersecretary after their sugar import order had been rejected by Malacañang. To this day, sugar prices remain high at P90 per kilo.