Senator Risa Hontiveros on Thursday, March 30 called on the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee to immediately schedule a public hearing on the new sugar smuggling plaguing the country, which she described as “state-sponsored.”
Hontiveros made the call after Sen. Francis Tolentino, chairman of the said panel, assured that the Senate panel has scheduled a lot of hearings on various resolutions after Holy Week.
One of them includes Hontiveros’ call for a Senate probe into the latest Sugar Order No. 6 which she said was used to justify the illegal importation of 440,000 metric tons of sugar into the country.
However, Tolentino said he is still waiting for the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) to submit additional documents to the committee before he can proceed with the schedule.
“I’m still waiting for the complete documents coming from SRA. Ang pinadala lang (what was sent to me) thus far, by the SRA was the Sugar Order No. 6. So kulang kulang pa (So there are some documents still lacking),” he said.
Hontiveros said she is banking on the Senate blue ribbon committee chief to follow through with his promise.
“Inaasahan ko ang commitment ni Chair Tolentino na dinigin ang (I expect Chairman Tolentino’s commitment to hear the) sugar fiasco round two, and I have full faith that he will be as zealous as he was during the first sugar hearings,” Hontiveros said in a statement.
“I call on the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) to submit the documents promptly, dahil kayo daw ang hinihintay (because they are waiting for you),” she said.
Nevertheless, the lawmaker said she believes the panel can already schedule a probe on the issue motu propio.
“Kung tutuusin pwede din ang Chair mag hearing na at ipa-subpoena duces tecum ang mga dokumento kung kinakailangan (After all, the Chair can also hold a hearing and subpoena duces tecum the documents if necessary),” she said.
Hontiveros urges blue ribbon panel to ‘act with urgency’ on new sugar fiasco after Holy Week
Mar 30, 2023 06:09 AM