CUSTOMS commissioner Rufino Biazon should resign irrevocably from his post if ever he fails to reform the Bureau of Customs (BOC) despite of the president’s newly given “blanket authority” to him, Senator Antonio Trillanes said Monday.
Trillanes in an interview expressed belief that President Benigno Aquino 3rd is already aware of the entire picture and he has all the information about the BOC officials and their supposed backers and that he is just giving customs officials enough time to fix the problem.
He said with the newly obtained authority from the president, the BOC head can apply whatever style he thinks would work to successfully reform the agency, but if the situation remains unchanged despite of his efforts, then it is time to quit.
Biazon last week tendered his informal resignation to the president hours after the chief executive in his state-of-the-nation-address (SONA) lambasted the BOC for its failure to curb smuggling and allowed smuggled goods into the country, virtually robbing the government of at least P200 billion annually in revenues.
Aquino however did not accept Biazon’s resignation and even reaffirms his confidence to the BOC chief.
Biazon the following day issued a statement claiming that meddling politicians are one of the reasons why corruption persists in the bureau.
According to him BOC personnel manage to continue their nefarious activities because they know that their political backer will protect them.
Trillanes said that Biazon could now do whatever he thinks is right to clean the agency of errant employees and he cannot put the blame on the politicians meddling with the affairs of the BOC.
“Now that he is given a blanket authority of the president he can do whatever he wants, but if it doesn’t work it means that he can’t do anything about it anymore,” he added.
Busy Blue Ribbon
Meanwhile Senator Teofisto Guingona 3rd, chair of the Blue Ribbon committee assured that the committee is taking note of all the issues that may warrant the investigation but admitted that he still yet to complete and composition of the his group.
At present the committee only has Guingona as Chair and Senator Serge Osmena 3rd as vice chair.
The Blue Ribbon committee is the only senate committee that can conduct an investigation even without a senate resolution coming from a Senator.
Among those being considered by the committee are the issues regarding the priority development assistance fund (PDAF) and the supposed involvement of some lawmakers on the BOC operations.
“I would like to consult with the members and constitute the members and we can do it in a week or two,” he added.