‘Drilon a traitor to the sugar industry’
An official of the Sugar Alliance of the Philippines (SAP) called Senator Franklin Drilon a “traitor to the sugar industry” after it was revealed that he was one of the senators who voted to reduce the excise tax on High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) when the Senate was deliberating on the matter recently.
Manuel Lamata, president of United Sugar Producers Federation of the Philippines (Unifed) said during a press conference Saturday in Talisay City, that sugar industry stakeholders “are greatly disappointed on the actuation of Drilon”.
The sugar planter pointed out that when Drilon was seeking to run for the Senate he asked for the support of the sugar industry.
Lamata said, sugar industry leaders supported Drilon and even made him Number One senator in the province of Negros Occidental, until his 3rd term.
Lamata added that after the voting in the Senate he called up Drilon to express his disappointment.
He said that the recent deliberation of the Senate on the excise tax on sugar and HFCS was considered to be “crucial for the sugar industry.”
The votation on the issue was a close 8-7 in favor of not reducing the proposed excise tax on HFSC.
ZUBIRI, ET AL.
On the other hand, Lamata lauded Senator Juan Miquel “Migz” Zubiri for standing firm for the sugar industry.
For his part, Enrique Rojas, president of the National Federation of Sugarcane Planters (NFSP) said the industry will throw their support for the eight senators who stood pat on the proposal to impose higher excise tax on HFCS.
Voting against the proposed amendment of Senator Ralph Recto were Senators Zubiri, Edgardo Angara Jr., Sherwin Gatchalian, Risa Hontiveros, Joseph Victor Ejercito, Joel Villanueva, Panfilo Lacson and Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III.*(NDB)