Customs Commissioner John Phillip Sevilla has reportedly quit his post and Malacañang, through the Department of Finance (DOF), is already looking for his replacement.
According to three sources—one from the Palace, another from the Bureau of Customs and a lawyer—Sevilla has already submitted his resignation letter. Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima has supposedly confided to a “friend” that they are in a quandary on how to go about the Customs chief’s resignation but that there is now a process of selecting his possible replacement.
“The president is playing his cards close to his chest. Not everyone in his circle knows. Commissioner Sevilla had been rumored to have left his post but Malacanang denied it. This time, it’s real,” said the BOC insider.
Asked if Sevilla was planning to transfer to another government post, the source replied: “He just wants to go back to the private sector.”
The Manila Times sent queries to Purisima but there was no reply.
The Palace official, when confronted, did not confirm nor deny the report. Instead, he said: “Sevilla is the most resigned official. He has been rumored to have resigned a number of times.”
When bluntly asked if this time, it is true, the official said: “wait for the announcement.”
Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. told the Times that he will have to verify the report.
Sevilla was appointed Customs commissioner in December 2013. He replaced Rufino Biazon who resigned after being charged in connection with the pork barrel scam.