AP

Philippine leader threatens to fire officials in sugar mess

Aug 11, 2022, 4:01 AM | Updated: 6:11 am

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The Philippine president has threatened to fire top agricultural officials if an investigation shows they improperly made and announced a decision to import sugar amid a shortage without his approval, his press secretary said Thursday.

It’s the stiffest punitive step newly elected President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. could take against officials over an apparent irregularity early in his six-year term. He took office on June 30 after a landslide election victory and inherited daunting problems.

Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles said a resolution authorizing the importation of 300,000 metric tons of sugar by the Sugar Regulatory Board, which Marcos Jr. heads, was posted on the website of the Sugar Regulatory Administration under the Department of Agriculture on Wednesday.

Marcos Jr. has temporarily taken the helm of the Department of Agriculture due to a looming food crisis and skyrocketing commodity prices sparked in part by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Cruz-Angeles said the president never approved or was aware of the resolution to import sugar, which was signed by an agriculture undersecretary and other officials who are being investigated. The document was taken down from the website by Thursday.

“This resolution is illegal,” she told a news conference. “An investigation is ongoing to determine whether any acts that will cause the president to lose trust and confidence in his officials can be found or if there is malice or negligence involved.”

“If such findings are made, then the only determination left will be how many heads are going to roll,” she said.

Officials dealing with sugar shortages and fast-rising prices, caused largely by the devastation of sugarcane fields, milling factories and refineries by a powerful typhoon in December, have opted to secure additional sugar imports to ease the crisis and prevent the country from running out of supplies.

But Marcos Jr. rejected the proposal, Cruz-Angeles said, adding a decision to import sugar has to be studied to strike a balance between protecting consumers from rising prices while making sure “that we do not destroy the local industry.”

The harvest season will also come soon, she said.

Marcos Jr. also inherited a pandemic-battered economy, lingering coronavirus threats, deep poverty, decades-long Muslim and communist insurgencies, law and order problems and political divisions inflamed by the recent elections.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

American Airlines put an unspecified number of employees on leave for their involvement in an incid...

Associated Press

American Airlines CEO calls removal of Black passengers from Phoenix flight ‘unacceptable’

American Airlines put an unspecified number of employees on leave for their involvement in an incident in which several Black passengers were removed from a flight in Phoenix.

16 hours ago

FILE - Crystal Baziel holds the Pan-African flag Monday, June 19, 2023, during Reedy Chapel A.M.E C...

Associated Press

The beginner’s guide to celebrating Juneteenth

For more than one-and-a-half centuries, the Juneteenth holiday has been sacred to many Black communities. It marks the day in 1865 enslaved people in Galveston, Texas found out they had been freed — after the end of the Civil War, and two years after President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation. Since it was designated a federal […]

2 days ago

A Boeing 737 Max suffered damage to parts of the plane's structure after it went into a “Dutch ro...

Associated Press

Plane that did ‘Dutch roll’ on flight from Phoenix suffered structural damage, investigators say

A Boeing 737 Max suffered damage to parts of the plane's structure after it went into a “Dutch roll” during a flight from Phoenix last month.

7 days ago

This photo provided by Randy Shannon shows Mooney Falls on the Havasupai reservation outside the vi...

Associated Press

Dozens report illness after trips to waterfalls near Grand Canyon

Dozens of hikers say they fell ill during trips to a popular Arizona tourist destination that features towering blue-green waterfalls deep in a gorge neighboring Grand Canyon National Park.

8 days ago

Mugshot of Rudy Giuliani, who was processed Monday, June 10, 2024, in the Arizona fake electors cas...

Associated Press

Rudy Giuliani posts $10K cash bond after being processed in Arizona fake electors case

Rudy Giuliani, a former New York City mayor and Donald Trump attorney, was processed Monday in the Arizona fake electors case.

10 days ago

FILE - White House former chief of staff Mark Meadows speaks with reporters at the White House, Wed...

Associated Press

Former Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows pleads not guilty in Arizona fake elector case

Former Donald Trump presidential chief of staff Mark Meadows and Trump 2020 Election Day operations director Michael Roman pleaded not guilty Friday in Phoenix to nine felony charges for their roles in an effort to overturn Trump's Arizona election loss to Joe Biden.

14 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Sanderson Ford

3 new rides for 3 new road trips in Arizona

It's time for the Sanderson Ford Memorial Day sale with the Mighty Fine 69 Anniversary, as Sanderson Ford turned 69 years old in May.

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s how to be worry-free when your A/C goes out in the middle of summer

PHOENIX -- As Arizona approaches another hot summer, Phoenix residents are likely to spend more time indoors.

...

DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.

Philippine leader threatens to fire officials in sugar mess