Customs chief Biazon quits

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Rufino “Ruffy” Biazon

Rufino “Ruffy” Biazon

Rufino “Ruffy” Biazon resigned as Customs commissioner on Monday, several days after the Justice department charged him with misusing his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) when he was a congressman.

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Biazon made it clear his “irrevocable resignation” was “not an admission of guilt” and that he will face his accusers and answer the charges at the proper forum.

“I resigned to protect my family from the exposure to the hostile controversy, for it will be too much for them to endure. This resignation is to protect the President, save my family from undue stress and prevent anyone to gain something from this issue,” he said.

Biazon said he first thought of holding on to his position but that “honor” eventually persuaded him to leave.

“I will face the allegations in a proper forum and give way to another leadership who has no question of credibility,” he said.

In a statement, President Benigno Aquino 3rd said he has accepted Biazon’s resignation and gave him until this week to wind up his affairs at the Bureau of Customs.

“This afternoon, I met with Customs Commissioner Rozzano Rufino B. Biazon, who submitted to me his irrevocable resignation. In his letter to me, and in our conversation, he explained that it would be best to provide the Secretary of Finance the widest leverage and flexibility to steer the future direction of the Bureau of Customs, in light of the controversy brought about by Commissioner Biazon’s inclusion in the complaint of the National Bureau of Investigation before the Ombudsman,” the President said.

Aquino said Biazon “believes that the proper thing to do is to defend himself without compromising his past record, or the ongoing reforms in the bureau.”

“He is especially concerned with protecting his family, in particular his children, from the effects of a public controversy,” the President added. “I thank him for his years of service to our administration and the nation. I wish him nothing but the best as he returns to private life.”

As a congressman, Biazon represented Muntinlupa City. He ran for the Senate in 2010 but lost.

PDAF scam
Last week, he and 33 others were charged with malversation, direct bribery and graft and corruption in connection with the pork barrel scam allegedly masterminded by Janet Lim-Napoles.

The other accused were former Ilocos Sur representative Salacnib Baterina; former Davao del Sur 1st District representative Marc Douglas Cagas IV; former Davao del Sur 1st district Rep. Douglas Cagas, former Davao del Norte congressman Arrel Olaño, former Oriental Mindoro representative Rodolfo Valencia, former South Cotabato 2nd District representative Arthur Pingoy; two congressional aides; three agency heads; two presidents of non-government organizations (NGOs), seven agency employees, 12 Commission on Audit auditors and Napoles.

The former lawmakers were accused of getting kickbacks after funnelling part of their pork barrel funds to bogus NGOs put up by Napoles.

A plunder complaint was filed earlier against Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada, and Ramon Revilla Jr., former Apec partylist Rep. Edgar Valdez, former Masbate Rep. Rizalina Seachon-Lanete and also Napoles.

Right move
Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. commended Biazon for valuing “delicadeza.”

“In resigning his post, Commissioner Biazon has done right by the President and by our people. He has demonstrated the significance of valuing a sense of delicadeza in public service,” Coloma said.

At the House of Representatives, Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. had urged Biazon to resign in light of the graft charges he faces.

“Customs is a different office. You can’t afford to have people talk behind your back and say, we are of the same kind here. I would say he should tender his resignation and let the President decide [on his fate],” Belmonte, a partymate of Biazon in the Liberal Party, said.

“He should make the gesture that he is willing to step down, show that he is not clinging on to his post. He should tell the President that while it is under the Executive power to make the call, he won’t get hurt if he gets the ax,” Belmonte added.

Biazon has already had a tough year. Aquino used his State of the Nation Address in July to blast Customs officials for their gall to remain in their posts despite miserably failing to curb smuggling.

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13 Comments

  1. I guess some Government fat cats are realising its hard to justify the Php 50 million plus self given rewards. I mean Ms Napoles a medicore government worker was receiving more money then President of the United States gets. How can these people have any credibility and try and justify their failings in their appointed offices and gain so much. All these accused plunderers should be disallowed from wearing any Philippines logo on their clothing. They are not Patriots of the Philippine people.

  2. Federico Santos on

    Biazon is a fall guy. he should have aligned himself with the Hyatt 10 group to be spared in the case. Hyatt 10 are the running the affair of Pres. P’noy. Be careful about this group. they can ruin our country. these are dangerous person.

  3. The Fall Guy.
    And the Moro-moro de Zarzuela continues, with only token Admin Allies included to make it appear everything is equally among the opposition and allies in the plunder/malversation cases.

    But the COA related cases are 2009 and earlier only. Cases for 2010 will be tackled by the new COA Chairman in 2016. Only in the Pilipinzzz.

  4. Ruben V. Calip on

    Who will President Aquino appoint in place of Biazon? If he really wants someone there to try his best to clean it up–and fight even the KKKs and the Liberal Party’s ruling coalition–he should appoint the honorable man who immediately resigned when he lambasted the Customs Bureau. This is the former BOC Deputy Commissioner for Intelligence retired Marine general Danilo Lim.–Ruben V. Calip

  5. Apolonio Reyes on

    I admire Ruffy Biazon, he choose Family Honor and resigned as BOC Chief when charged with malversation, direct bribery and graft and corruption and face these charges in proper forum.
    Thirty three where charged, where are the other thirty two? where is ” Tanda, Sexy and Gwapo “? Follow the example of Ruffy Biazon.

  6. Gloria M. Kuizon on

    Now that Biazon has resigned, let us see if the next Customs Commissioner will stop the multibillion-dollar loss from government revenues from rampant smuggling of oil and oil products, thousands and thousands of containers of manufactured products from China that make reviving our industries and agri-business nearly impossible, and so on and so forth.

    Gloria M. Kuizon
    Novaliches, QC
    gmkuizon@yahoo.com

    • Apolonio Reyes on

      Sana nga, according to UN Statistics, sa administration ni Pnoy ang pinakamalaki, I mean PINAKAMALING RECORD NG SMUGGLING EVER, COMBINE NYO NG LAHAT MULA KAY CORY, RAMOS, ESTRADA AT GMA. Kaya dapat mas Honest pa kay HONESTO at kasing bagsik ni LEE KWAN YU ang ipalit ni Pnoy kay Ruffy Biazon.

  7. Rafael Dela Monroyo on

    Mr Biazon’s action is courageous and commendable. Although it’s a tough act to follow, others should follow suit.

  8. Dear Mr. R. Biazon,

    Please return the people’s money, all of them and let’s call it quits.

    We don’t have to thank you.

    People

  9. salamat mr. biazon for protecting the honor of your family. yung iba dyan… sa halip ituro ang tama sa mga anak…lantarang tinuturo pa nya ang magnakaw sa gobyerno (ikaw na ang mag-repack ng goods at mag re-label nito).! kung relief goods pinapatulan… paano pa yung bilyon-bilyong pondo na nahahawakan?
    tama ba na isang pamilya na kayong nasa gobyerno? Alibi…we are elected by the people…But we know, in this nation of the poor.. votes can be bought… tanggapin man natin o hindi. so. anong laban ng candidate na walang pera vs one who can utilize the govt logistics dahil naka puwesto na ang, say, tatay o asawa nya. sana paspasan nila ang pagpasa ng anti-political dynasty law.

  10. yan ang tamang gawin ng isang official n nasasangkot sa anomalya,,, ang MAGRESIGN..
    dapat sumunod n c juan ponce enrile, jingoy estrada, bong rivilla at iba pa… wala b kaung delicadeza?

  11. It is sad to say that our catholic faith as Filipinos are marginalized because of the lack of DELICADIZA which embraces endearing attributes of the old, meaning; sincere love, kindness, honesty, loyalty, charity, respect, and among others. We can only overcome these by God’s way, no other way, May God have mercy on all.