Planters file contempt raps versus SRA administrator

An SRA employee receives a copy of the contempt case filed against Administrator Hermenegildo Serafica late Friday afternoon, May 6.*

A sugar planters group filed a motion to cite Administrator Hermenegildo Serafica of the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) for direct contempt before the Regional Trial Court Branch 73 of Sagay City in Negros Occidental at noon Friday, May 6, Manuel Lamata, United Sugar Producers Federation president, said.

Lamata said he personally delivered a copy of the motion for contempt to the SRA office in Bacolod and another copy was also given to the SRA office in Quezon City on Friday.

The motion to cite Serafica for direct contempt was filed by the Rural Sugar Planters Association Inc. represented by its president Joseph Edgar Sarrosa.

Sarrosa, in his motion, pointed out that Executive Judge Reginald Fuentebella of RTC Branch 73 issued a writ of injunction on February 24 preventing Serafica from implementing Sugar Order No. 3 allowing the importation of 200,000 metric tons of refined sugar for industrial users.

The judge ordered the SRA to maintain the “status quo” until the court takes further action.

On March 31, the Office of the Government Corporate Counsel, representing SRA, filed a petition for certiorari with prayer for a restraining order against the February 24 order, but it has not been acted on yet, Sarrosa said.

On May 2, Serafica in direct defiance of the writ of injunction issued Memorandum Circular No. 11, Series of 2021-2022, which orders the resumption of the implementation of Sugar Order No. 3 nationwide, except for Region 6, Sarrosa pointed out.

Serafica’s action is in direct defiance of a court order “making a mockery of the same by excluding Region 6 and ordering the resumption of an enjoined act,” the motion said.*

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