Legal action vs. agri tariffs

Legal action vs. agri tariffs

Jul 10, 2024, 1:40 AM
Darlene Pomperada

Darlene Pomperada


The Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura (SINAG) has announced its intention to take legal action against officials of the Tariff Commission regarding Executive Order (EO) 62, which reduces tariffs on various agricultural products.

SINAG stated that they plan to file cases before the Office of the Ombudsman, alleging misconduct and violation of ethical standards by officials involved.

Earlier, the farmers’ group petitioned the Supreme Court to halt the implementation of EO 62, particularly criticizing the 15 percent tariff on imported rice effective from July 6.

“A case has already been filed with the Supreme Court, so we caution those who may attempt to defy or circumvent the ongoing legal process,” SINAG Chair Rosendo So emphasized.

“We are also in the process of finalizing cases to be filed with the Ombudsman against officials of the Tariff Commission,” he added.

The group plans to pursue administrative charges for grave misconduct and violation of the code of conduct.

Additionally, they are considering filing criminal charges for alleged graft and corruption, citing harm to the public due to failure to fulfill their legal duties.

SINAG criticized the issuance of EO 62, claiming it was hastily implemented without prior consultations or hearings.

They pointed out that according to the Flexible Clause of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act, consultations are mandatory before issuing any EO that involves tariff reductions.

“The mandated process for modifying or reducing tariffs, as delegated to the President, requires adherence to due process, which was completely disregarded in this case," Virgie Suarez, legal counsel for SINAG, asserted.

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