Confed head vindicated in sugar order mess

Aurelio Gerardo Valderama

By Dolly Yasa

BACOLOD City – Confederation of Sugar Producers president Aurelio Gerardo Valderama said that he feels vindicated of the sugar order mess after the Office of the President cleared them of any wrongdoing.

In a statement sent to the local media here, Valderama said “the stress that has caused so much grief to me and to my family has finally been lifted.”

He said that “with the issuance by the Office of the President of the decision absolving me as well as the rest of officers in the SRA (Sugar Regulatory Administration) involved in the case of Grave Misconduct, Gross Dishonesty and Conduct Prejudicial to the Best Interest in the Service relative to my participation in the issuance of Sugar Order 4.”

He thanked Malacañang for dismissing the charges against him and other co-respondents.

This is the vindication that I have always prayed for and believed in, that will come in due time, knowing that my actions as a member of the Sugar Board were done in good faith, devoid of ill intentions and consistent with established agency procedures, Valderama further said.

He further said that “it is now time to move forward. It is time to set aside the issues that divide us and focus instead on how we can work together. The Sugar Industry currently faces serious challenges that demand collective actions involving all stakeholders, in concert with the government.”

He called on the government, through the Department of Agriculture and the Sugar Regulatory Administration, to take the lead in harnessing the talents, energies and resources within the Industry, in concert with our legislators and concerned local governments as well as private sector partners, to help bring the Sugar Industry to its rightful place in the Philippine Economy.

On the Confederation of Sugarcane Producers’ Associations, Inc., Valderama said they will endeavor to undertake every possible effort, seek every opportunity and pursue all available avenues to promote the interests and welfare of the farmers and those who depend on them.

“In this light, we offer our full cooperation in crafting policies, plans and programs, and the adoption of measures that rebound to the benefit of the Sugar Industry and all its stakeholders,” he said

The Office of the President (OP) cleared former Agriculture and Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) officials in connection with the supposed illegal issuance of Sugar Order Number 4.

The order would have allowed the importation of 300,000 metric tons of sugar without President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.’s approval.

In a 10-page decision dated December 29, 2022, the OP said the following are absolved of liabilities since the issuance of SO 4 was “done in good faith”.

Valderrama was a member of the sugar body when implicated in the case.

Also cleared from the charges are former SRA administrator Hermigildo Serafica, former Agriculture Undersecretary Leocadio Sebastian and former SRA board member Roland Beltran.

Comments are closed.