Wednesday, April 09, 2008
‘I did not benefit from Biofuels’ Law’–Zubiri
SENATOR Juan Miguel Zubiri on Tuesday reacted to the Vera Files article accusing him and his family of benefiting from the Biofuels Law, stressing that while his family descended from sugar planters, they never benefited from this law, as the article released implied.
The Zubiris’ land was voluntarily surrendered to the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) after it was enacted in 1988, while their remaining lands were leased to the Department of Labor and Employment for banana production.
In a statement, the senator pointed out that the Biofuels Law was not approved till 2006, and challenged the articles’ authors to investigate and visit their property.
“[That we benefited from the law] is a blatant lie. Instead of being congratulated for being the first to comply with the CARP law, we are now being maligned by the Vera article and those behind their agenda. Even the insinuation that my father has some control over Busco or Bukidnon Sugar-milling Company is completely false,” said Zubiri.
No provision in the Biofuels Act can violate CARP, the senator explained, as the former does not guarantee land converson and CARP exemptions.
On the contrary, Zubiri said, the Biofuels Law will even help CARP beneficiaries who can now enjoy higher value and price for their sugar crops for use in producing biofuel.
If implemented properly, he added, the Biofuels Law would allow Filipinos to produce 10 percent of the ethanol requirement of the law, without competing with feedstock, as the country has an excess of sugarcane.
Zubiri pointed out that the mountains of Davao to Cagayan de Oro are waiting for crops to be planted in them.
“If by next month, gas prices will be at P50/liter, and by next year, it will reach P70/liter and you curse the high heavens, please don’t blame the government, but the fault-finders,” he said.
— Angelique P. Manalad