Planters to seek declaration of SO3 sugar as ‘smuggled’

An intervenor in a case that secured preliminary injunctions against the Sugar Regulatory Administration on Thursday, May 5, warned of legal actions against “all traders and importers” who will participate in the sugar importation program under the controversial Sugar Order No. 3.

“Anyone who is a participant in bringing in imported sugar, using the memorandum circular issued by Sugar Regulatory Administrator, Hermenegildo Serafica will be deemed abetting an illegal act in outright disrespect of the law and we will file the corresponding charges against them,” David Alba, general manager of the Associacion de Agricultores de la Carlota y Pontevedra Inc. (AALCPI), said.

“Let this serve as a warning to all traders and importers who will join this mockery that we will petition that all imported sugar brought in under this order will be declared as smuggled sugar,” he added.

Alba, who also heads the La Carlota Mill District Multi Purpose Cooperative (LCMDMPC), represented the two groups as intervenor in the case originally filed by the Negros Occidental Federation of Farmers’ Association.

He said that they are set to file Indirect Contempt charges against Serafica and Agriculture Secretary William Dar, along with the legal team of SRA that are involved in the pending case.

“This is sheer disrespect of the law and violates the Preliminary Injunctions issued by the courts. These officials make themselves believe they are above the law,” Alba added.

He criticized Dar for his “indifference to the plight of the farmers, especially at this time when we are beset with outrageously high cost of productions like fertilizers and fuel which are the basic farm inputs much needed in sugar farms.”*

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