‘Stop the Blame Game’

Stop the blame game.

This was the reaction of Atty. Emilio Yulo, spokesperson of the Sugar Alliance of the Philippines to Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol.

“He should be man enough to own up to whatever problems the sugar industry is facing and not play the blame game,” Yulo said.

In a post on his Facebook account, Pinol hit back at the sugar industry for being “spoiled brats.”

Piñol said he did not ask for the scrapping of Sugar Order No. 3, which grants the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) the authority to regulate the entry of High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) into the country.

He simply recommended that it be held in abeyance, pending the resolution of the issues raised by Coca-Cola and Pepsi-Cola, Piñol said.

“I believe that if things could be worked out, the sugar industry could get a bigger share of the sugar requirements of both Coca-Cola and Pepsi-Cola thus getting a better deal,” he said in the post titled “Am I anti-farmer, pro coke? I don’t even like softdrinks”.

The post was was his reaction to the attacks against him at a sugar industry stakeholders’ rally staged in front of the Coca-Cola plant in Bacolod City Monday.

The secretary should be reminded that he is a public official and should not be too onion skinned, he added.

“But while we are on this issue, let us ask Piñol why he is so defensive? Can he not see that these placards are mere expressions or figures of speech? These are legitimate sentiments coming from his frustrated constituents in the agriculture sector,” Yulo said.

He also said that if Coke intended to go for a dialog, why did they file a court suit even before the talks could begin?

Piñol wanted SO3 held in abeyance, which the Quezon City RTC denied by not granting a Temporary Restraining Order to Coca-Cola, he pointed out.

“The Court did not find sufficient basis for the issuance of a TRO and yet here is Piñol exactly doing that and granting to Coke what it failed to get with the Courts. Judicial interference?” he asked.

“When a case is pending before the Courts you should be circumspect in what you say lest you be misconstrued or worse you might end up in contempt of that same Court. Or worse, in the eyes of your constituents whom you should be looking after, you are selling them out,” Yulo said.*( Eugene Y. Adiong)