• Biazon won’t leave LP

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    Rep. Rodolfo Biazon of Muntinlupa City won’t leave the ruling Liberal Party chaired by President Benigno Aquino 3rd despite the filing of graft charges against his son, outgoing Customs Commissioner Rufino Biazon.

    The older Biazon, a former Senator, made the disclosure moments after his son resigned as the Customs chief—just two days after the Department of Justice leveled graft charges on Biazon in connection with the P10 billion Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) scam.

    The PDAF is a Congressional discretionary fund.

    “I’m staying with the Liberal Party. Let’s not drag party affiliation to the issue. I am not disappointed in the administration because the President is after reform, and I support that,” the older Biazon, Chairman of the House Committee on National and Defense, told reporters.

    The younger Biazon’s tenure at the Customs has been very tough since 2011.

    The Customs bureau’s tax collection has been increasing for the last three years. From P220 billion tax collection in 2009, the Customs bureau has collected P259 billion in 2010, P265 billion in 2011 and P289 billion in 2012.

    These figures, however, did not meet the targets set by the Customs bureau.

    In his State of the Nation Address last July, President Aquino also shamed the Bureau of Customs, saying that it is puzzling where the Customs officials are getting their gall to remain in their posts despite miserably failing to curb smuggling.

    “There are other elements, probably outside the circle of the President. I do not even know the party affiliation of these entities [who are after my son]. There is clashing of interests,” the older Biazon, who served as the Armed Forces chief during the administration of the late mother of the President, Corazon Aquino, pointed out.

    The Biazons have earlier claimed that the younger Biazon was included in the charge sheet for the P10 billion PDAF scam in the last minute.

    “The report, from the information we got from different directions, is that he wasn’t included in the charge sheet. That was a day before the announcement of filing of charges. Something happened between the night before the announcement and the day of the filing of charges. A check of the circumstances that led to the inclusion is something,” the older Biazon argued.

    “I have faith in my son. He is certain that he can clear his name. We have faith in the judicial process. I don’t think his political career is done. Let’s wait for the resolution of the issue,” the older Biazon added.

    Rep. Karlo Nograles of Davao City, Chairman of the House Committee on Labor, welcomed the move of the younger Biazon.

    “He spared the administration from controversy and kept its integrity intact. It was a self sacrifice, a rarity, and should be emulated,” Nograles said in a separate talk.

    “While it is the discretion of the President whether he should stay or not, he preferred to let justice take its course,” Nograles added.

    LLANESCA T. PANTI

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