Senator Risa Hontiveros has called on the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) to submit the documents needed for the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee to begin its investigation on the alleged sugar smuggling last February.
“We need to act with urgency, preferably after Holy Week or before all sugar in the markets will be gone,” she said.
The senator noted there were crimes that have taken place and continue to unfold “and exposing these crimes may allow us to unravel the bigger crimes of economic sabotage and possibly plunder.”
She also expressed hopes on the commitment of Blue Ribbon Committee chairman Sen. Francis Tolentino to investigate the sugar fiasco.
“And I have full faith that he will be as zealous as he was during the first sugar hearings,” Hontiveros said.
In case documents from the SRA are not yet available, Hontiveros said Tolentino can commence the hearing and issued subpoena duces tecum for the needed documents to be presented in the Senate hearing.
Earlier, Tolentino said he cannot start the hearing as he was still awaiting pertinent documents from the SRA.
According to Tolentino, he has only a copy of Sugar Order No. 6 which was sent to him by the SRA.
Hontiveros has filed a resolution seeking an investigation on the Department of Agriculture’s importation of what she branded as “government-sponsored smuggling.” The importation was made even without the required permit from the SRA.
She said many crimes were happening after sugar had been smuggled. She expects to unearth bigger crimes like economic sabotage and plunder.