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Arrest warrant issued against ex-SRA chief

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After being found guilty of indirect contempt, Hermenegildo Serafica, former head of the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA), was issued an arrest warrant.

In his 11-page decision, Himamaylan Regional Trial Court Judge Walter Zorilla sentenced Serafica to 15 days in prison and a P30,000 fine.

Serafica was found guilty of indirect contempt by the court for issuing SRA Memorandum Circular Number 11, series of 2021-2022, which violated Judge Zorilla’s writ of preliminary injunction. (https://bit.ly/3y2OL0v)

According to court records, Serafica, then administrator of SRA, issued Memorandum Circular No. 11, series of 2021-2022, with the subject “Resumption of Implementation of Sugar Order No. 3,” which allows the importation of 200,000 metric tons of standard grade refined sugar and bottler’s grade refined sugar on May 4, 2022 despite the Himamaylan RTC issuing a writ of preliminary injunction on March 2, 2022.

Serafica explained to the Office of Government Corporate Counsel that he did not disobey, resist, or otherwise violate the court’s WPI order, and that he acted in good faith when SRA issued MC 11, because SRA merely relied on his counsel’s advice.

MC 11 expressly excludes from its coverage Region 6, the judicial region to which this court belongs. Serafica stated that the issuance of MC 11 cannot be considered an act of disobedience, resistance, or otherwise a violation of the WPI order.

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