Arrest warrant out vs ex-SRA chief Serafica

Gilbert Bayoran - The Philippine Star

BACOLOD CITY, Philippines — An arrest warrant has been issued against former Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) chief Hermenegildo Serafica, who was found guilty of indirect contempt by a local court on Monday.

Judge Walter Zorilla of the Himamaylan Regional Trial Court ordered Serafica’s imprisonment for 15 days.

Zorilla also ordered Serafica to pay a fine of P30,000.

Court records show that Serafica issued SRA Memorandum Circular No. 11, which allows the importation of 200,000 metric tons of standard grade and bottler’s grade refined sugar on May 4, despite a writ of preliminary injunction issued by the Himamaylan court on March 2.

The Negros Occidental Federation of Farmers’ Association filed a petition against the importation.

In his defense, Serafica said he acted in good faith when  he issued the memorandum as the agency merely relied on the advice of the Office of the Government Corporate Counsel.

He also noted that Western
Visayas, where the court is located, was excluded from the coverage of the memorandum.

Serafica resigned last month amid the controversy over an “illegal” order to import 300,000 metric tons of sugar by the third quarter.                              


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