Seek clearance

Photo by Albert Calvelo/Senate PRIB

SEEK CLEARANCE: Sen. Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada grills former Agriculture Undersecretary Leocadio Sebastian on his issuance of a special order authorizing the importation of 300,000 metric tons of sugar during Tuesday’s Blue Ribbon hearing, August 23, 2022. Estrada asked Sebastian why he signed Sugar Order No. 4 (SO4) without the prior consent of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. who also concurrently sits as DA secretary. “Did you talk or approach the President before signing SO4? I have a document which shows that your signature appears above the name of the President. Why did you not ask the permission of the President? I believe that you should have asked for clearance from the President because the authority to act as chairman of the board emanated from the President,” Estrada pointed out. Sebastian said he acted in good faith and was prompted by the urgency of the matter. He further explained that a memorandum dated July 15, 2022, allowed his actions to be considered as “regular” unless disapproved or reprobated by the President as he had on SO4. (Albert Calvelo/Senate PRIB)