Baribar: Beverage firm seeks to nullify HFCS sugar order

A BEVERAGE firm is seeking the nullification of the sugar order regulating the entry of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) in the country.

Lawyer Archie Baribar, spokesperson of pro-Duterte group Kilusang Pagbabago-Negros Island Region (KP-NIR), said Wednesday that Coca-Cola Femsa Philippines filed the petition early this week at the Makati City Regional Trial Court.

They prayed that the court will issue a temporary restraining order (TRO) on the Sugar Regulatory Administration’s (SRA) order regulating the importation of HFCS, he said.

The hearing was conducted on March 6, but the judge has yet to issue a ruling, Baribar said.

Another hearing was set Friday.

Baribar said that his group will meet this weekend to will decide if they will “intervene” with the “legal battle.”

“We demanded a sugar order from SRA (to stop the entry of HFCS). We know we ignited a world war,” the Bacolod-based lawyer said.

He said he is hoping that the SRA would be able to defend the “ordinary people," as he stressed that there’s nothing to thank SRA yet as the battle is just starting.

Baribar added this is a time to be more vigilant.

SRA Administrator Anna Rosario Paner said last week that there was no reported entry of HFCS in the country following the issuance of the sugar order on February 17.

The order stated that the importer of HFCS must be registered with SRA and that applicants must also comply with the requirements otherwise, they will be penalized.

However, Paner noted that sugar prices are still dropping due to the existing HFCS in the market from last year’s importation.
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