Palace defends top Marcos aide in sugar importation mess
MALACANANG came to the defense of Executive Secretary Victor Rodriguez amid allegations that he had a role in the illegal importation bid of 300,000 metric tons of sugar.
Press Secretary Rose Beatrix “Trixie” Cruz-Angeles made the statement after Agriculture Undersecretary Leocadio Sebastian resigned from his post and took responsibility for convening the Sugar Regulatory Board and approving Sugar Order 4 without the approval of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.
In a Facebook Live video on Friday evening, Cruz-Angeles denied that Rodriguez was the one who gave the green light to Sebastian to convene the board.
She said that what Rodriguez ordered was to create an importation plan, not an importation bid.
“He had nothing to do with this. Wala pong kinalaman si ES sa importation resolution ng Sugar Regulatory Board. Hindi po siya ang nag-utos nang nag-convene nito (The Executive Secretary is not involved in the issuance of importation resolution by the Sugar Regulatory Board. He did not make an order to convene the meeting),” Cruz-Angeles said.
“In fact, nung nalaman niya na nag-convene at nag-issue ng resolution, siya mismo ang nagdala ng balita na ito sa Pangulo. Right there and then, gusto niya sana ay ipatawag at resolbahin ang issue (when he discovered that they met and issued a resolution, he brought it up to the President. Immediately, he wanted to summon them to resolve the issue),” she added.
Cruz-Angeles also refuted claims that Rodriguez has designated Sebastian as one of Agriculture officials who may sign any document on behalf of the executive secretary and the President.
“Walang kinalaman si ES sa importation. Nag-issue siya ng direktiba na gumawa ng importation plan. Saan nanggaling yung importation plan? Aba, eh ‘di sa Pangulo din natin (ES had nothing to do with the importation. He issued a directive to create an importation plan. Where did this come from? The President himself),” Cruz-Angeles said.
“Inutusan niya si ES na magdirekta ng importation plan para makita, uulitin natin: feasibility ng importation, kailan mag-iimport (The President instructed ES to issue a directive to create an importation plan to see the feasibility of importing and when to do it),” she added.
The Palace official agreed with one of the comments on her Facebook Live that there seemed to be a demolition job against Rodriguez.
“Mukha ngang ganoon. Parang ang layo-layo naman kasi ng sinasabi nila si ES Vic pa ang responsable para sa importation (That seems to be the case. It’s very far from what they’re saying that ES Rodriguez was responsible for the importation),” she said.
“Malayo po sa bituka, hindi po ‘yon ang nangyari (That’s far from the truth. That’s not what happened),” Cruz-Angeles added.