Rodriguez had ‘no participation’ in botched sugar importation; Angeles cites ‘demolition job’

Published August 13, 2022, 10:15 AM

by Argyll Cyrus Geducos

Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles has stated that Executive Secretary Vic Rodriguez was acting upon the instructions of President Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos, Jr., and had no participation in the illegal importation bid of 300,000 metric tons of sugar,

Angeles made this disclosure after announcing that Agriculture Undersecretary Leocadio Sebastian resigned from his post on August 11, and took responsibility for convening the Sugar Regulatory Board and approving Sugar Order No. 4 without the President’s approval.

In a Facebook Live video on Friday evening, August 12, Angeles denied rumors that Rodriguez was the one who gave the green light to Sebastian to convene the board. She said what Rodriguez ordered was to create an importation plan, not an importation bid.

In addition, the Palace official said that Rodriguez immediately called President Marcos’s attention when he discovered what happened.

“Wala pong kinalaman si ES doon sa importation resolution ng Sugar Regulatory Board. Hindi po siya nag-utos ng pag-convene nito (The Executive Secretary had nothing to do with the Sugar Regulatory Board’s importation resolution. He didn’t direct it to convene),” Angeles said.

“In fact, nung nalaman niya na nag-convene at nag-issue ng resolution, siya mismo ang nagdala ng balita na ito sa Pangulo. Right there and then, gusto niya sana ay ipatawag at resolbahin ang issue (when he discovered that they met and issued a resolution, he brought it up to the President. Immediately, he wanted to summon them to resolve the issue),” she added.

Angeles explained that President Marcos was the one who told Rodriguez to direct Sebastian to create an importation plan.

“Walang kinalaman si ES sa importation. Nag-issue siya ng direktiba na gumawa ng importation plan. Saan nanggaling yung importation plan? Aba, eh ‘di sa Pangulo din natin (ES had nothing to do with the importation. He issued a directive to create an importation plan. Where did this come from? The President himself),” she said.

“Inutusan niya si ES na magdirekta ng importation plan para makita, uulitin natin: feasibility ng importation, kailan mag-iimport (The President instructed ES to issue a directive to create an importation plan to see the feasibility of importing and when to do it),” she added.

Angeles agreed with one of the comments on her Facebook Live that there seemed to be a demolition job against Rodriguez.

“Mukha ngang ganoon. Parang ang layo-layo naman kasi ng sinasabi nila si ES Vic pa ang responsable para sa importation (That seems to be the case. It’s very far from what they’re saying that ES Rodriguez was responsible for the importation),” she said.

“Malayo po sa bituka, hindi po ‘yon ang nangyari (That’s far from the truth. That’s not what happened),” she added.

This was not the first time Rodriguez faced controversies. Last month, he denied reports that he resigned from his post or asked for P100 million from those who wanted to be part of the Marcos government.

Rodriguez said the current administration would continue to be hounded by fake news as long as Marcos is the chief executive.