Dellosa, Uvero eyed for BOC

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customUNLESS President Benigno Aquino 3rd appoints an outsider to head the Bureau of Customs (BOC), two BOC deputy commissioners are in the running for the post soon to be vacated by Ruffy Biazon, according to sources at the bureau.

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The sources told The Manila Times that if Biazon’s replacement will come from the present crop of BOC officials, it would be a toss up between Deputy Commissioner for Intelligence group Jesse Dellosa and Deputy Commissioner for Assessment and Operations Coordinating Group Agaton Teodoro Uvero. The two officials were appointed by the President to the BOC in September this year. Dellosa replaced Danilo Lim, who resigned weeks after Aquino lambasted Customs officials for their failure to curb smuggling.

Biazon tendered his irrevocable resignation on Monday, days after he was charged with malversation and graft at the Office of the Ombudsman for allegedly pocketing kickbacks from the release of his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or pork barrel when he was a congressman.

Dellosa, who retired early this year as Armed Forces chief, is being criticized for issuing alert and hold orders for containers suspected to contain smuggled goods, delaying the release of shipments that infuriated importers.

The former AFP chief had imposed a no-take policy at the BOC and has pledged to stop the payola system in the bureau.

However, Times sources said Uvero has the upper hand for being the closest to Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima and Internal Revenue Commissioner Kim Henares, whom he worked with for many years.

Uvero, it was learned, is an international trade, indirect tax (customs), logistics and supply chain expert. Since 2002, he has worked on various customs technical assistance programs funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

He was involved in various USAID-funded customs projects such as the drafting of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA) and the preparation of the Post Entry Audit operating manual and the DOJ-BOC customs prosecution manual. From 2007 to 2009, he was the Immigration-Customs-Quarantine (ICQ) project consultant of the Subic-Clark Economic Corridor (CDC/SBMA).

Uvero was also formerly an international trade and customs consultant of PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Consulting, during which time he did consulting work for multinational companies in the Philippines and occasionally, across the Southeast Asia region.

As a supply chain specialist, he lectures at the Ateneo Graduate School of Business-CCE and BayanTrade Academy on International Supply Chain Management.

A lawyer and a licensed customs broker, he has degrees in Philosophy and Law from UP Diliman and is an alumnus of East West Center (Hawaii). He also took a course on Transfer Pricing at World Trade Institute, Pace University (New York). He has an Advance Certificate in International Purchasing and Supply Chain Management (Adv.Cert.IPSCM) from International Trade Centre (UNCTAD/WTO).

In the last 10 years, Uvero has provided advisory services and trainings for most of the Top 1,000 corporations.

Dellosa, on the other hand, spent most of his professional life in the military.

Clique
Sources said that a powerful clique in the Aquino administration headed by Purisima was reportedly behind efforts to ease out Biazon. According to them, the Finance chief, who has supervisory powers over the Customs bureau, was not in good terms with Biazon, which was the reason why the latter had to go directly to the President instead of coursing his resignation through his immediate boss.

“Biazon is the President’s personal choice. But there are others itching to get his post,” the source told the Times.

Besides Purisima, the “clique” also reportedly include former BOC chiefs Angelito Alvarez and Bert Lina, who now act as the Finance chief’s “consultants.”

The three, according to the source, share “interlocking interests” at the Bureau and were among the biggest contributors to Aquino’s campaign kitty in the 2010 presidential elections.

“It’s an open secret in the bureau that they are ‘business associates,’” the source added.

The three “partners” were reportedly behind the filling up of positions that were affected by Biazon’s recent decision to realign and reassign personnel.

They said Alvarez and Lina were instrumental in the appointment of Dellosa, Uvero, Primo Aguas as deputy commissioner for Management Information Systems and Technology Group; Director Myrna Chua as deputy commissioner for Internal Administration Group; and Finance Assistant Secretary Ma. Edita Tan as deputy commissioner for the Revenue Collection Monitoring Group.

When he resigned, Biazon mentioned powerful individuals who were affected by the reforms he was instituting in the bureau. He did not elaborate.

With Biazon out, the Times source said Purisima now has the free hand to select from his own “men” the former’s replacement.

Biazon however said that the President should appoint someone who has integrity and who will not easily cave in to temptation.

“Ang kailangan niya (Aquino) iyong may integrity, hindi titiklop in the face of temptation kasi matututunan naman ang Customs. Ang customs commissioner ang papel ay mag-oversee ng agency na di naman collector na kailangang matutunan ang intricacies at technicalities. Of course, ang kailangan ay solid ang integrity at tiwala mismo ng Pangulo (He needs someone who has integrity, who will not give in to temptation because the job of Customs chief can be learned. He should appoint someone with solid integrity),” Biazon said.

He added that a change of personnel and the implementation of reforms may end the “robust” corruption at the BOC.

“Sa ibang bansa nagawa iyon. By adopting modern procedures nabawasan or natanggal na buo yung corruption,” the outgoing Customs chief said.

“Kung mag reform lang sa hanay ng customs at nandun pa rin ang baluktot na broker at baluktot na importer, tutuksuhin lang nila iyong papalit na customs (chief) na bago,” he explained.

“The environment/system is stil the same kaya nga ang paniiwala ko na kasama sa pagpapalit ng tao at reporma ng tao, reporma ng system para mabago ang laro. Di lang bago player pero bago ang laro kailangan natin. Kailangan konting panahon, at kung lahat mag agree sa ganitong approach kaya ito,” he added.

Not leaving LP
Biazon’s father, Rep. Rodolfo Biazon of Muntinlupa City, said that he will not leave the ruling Liberal Party chaired by the President because of the resignation of his son.

“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 Biazons have earlier claimed that the younger Biazon was included in the charge sheet for the P10 billion PDAF scam at 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,” he added.

WITH REPORTS FROM ROBERTZON RAMIREZ AND LLANESCA T. PANTI

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14 Comments

  1. Arch.Angel(Lito) Lingan Mallonga on

    It is not PIng Lacson as he is much better on the Rehabilitation not only on Yolanda Typhoon but all the damages that hit the Philippines this year alone, Negros Oriental on the Earthquake, Davao on the Typhoon, Zamboanga, Cebu and Bohol.

    Remember that this is a multi billion PESOS AND DOLLARS we are talking and more funds are coming in from other countries including our own Filipinos from abroad up to now trying to lend there hands and pockets asking donations fro our fellow Filipinos here abroad. Maybe Ping Lacson should set up a direct FUNDS of Donations that are coming from abroad and all be accounted for so it will not be abused.

    The only way to solved the problem in Custom is not only the head that will be chosen but also those who has been there for a very long long time who knows how to manipulate the customs operation. Take them all out than we solved the problem once and for all. Ika ng LAGAY is my Guy!!!!!

  2. Let us place PING LACSON here and we will see in few months the outcome. If the story in this article is TRUE about the CLIQUE of the three and about BIAZON then PING will be the ANSWER.

    This agency will be used as agent for solicitation for the UPCOMING presidential election whom they can contribute a HUGE amount that repayment is unbearable for the winning candidate. They will only support whom they think will win.

    As PING on the HELM and DELLOSA as deputy then we will see the RESULTS in short period of time. This INTRAMURALS in this agency is being created so as the COMMISSIONER to be appointed will be on the same mantra that they can continue on their activities.

  3. Dellosa may not have the edge of qualifications in terms of academics, post tenure, but we have a lot of Presidents who are Highly qualified, but what we got in return, Abuse and Bambbozled. Instead all things can be learn, a man of integrity, is more better than a man only equip with knowledge.
    .
    ..”

  4. wilmer andrada on

    Uvero has the qualifications but how about his honesty. Dellosa should be hired as the chief law and crime enforcement officer dedicated to customs. This will ensure that no payolas and hocuspocus exist and everybody play by the rules.

  5. uvero has impressive credentials. i think he is overly qualified as commissioner. dellosa, aside from being a military man, has no other relevant credentials. better for him to stay as dc for intel.

  6. Simon Benigno Arroyo on

    The current conflict between BOC head and DoF is good for governance. Intimacy breeds complacency and contempt.
    Pinoy should put someone not to close to one another.

    • Therefor PING LACSON is the ANSWER for this. and his deputy will be DELLOSA.Then we will watch in short period of time the OUTCOME if there is really a change.

      Let us not delve too much on the QUALIFICATIONS, we need a SINCERE, HONEST and INTEGRITY to head these bureau to implement REFORMS so that we will be able to collect the real or tangible TAXES to be collected to these INCOMING and OUTGOING goods and not having these ECONOMIC sabotage to benefit only few.

  7. …And the saga of Institutionalized Corruption continues…never -ending, no end in sight, the merry ways of wheeling dealings, the Rot and Stench in the Bureau is co- terminus with the anomalies and corruption with the Catholic Church….AND DON’T EXPECT ANY MIRACLES TO HAPPEN, SOON.

    Welcome to the rotten, corruption infested Philippine system, – a majority of the people are happiliy proud to admit they are Christians. – HIPOCRITE CHRISTIANS, that is. Holy and saintly looking by day, robbers and plunders of the lowest and highest class 24/7.

    • Rosauro Feliciano on

      Yeah the case of a revolving door still exists if people known to be used on working on the same frequencies and whose feathers are of the same colors, then who will expect to question the system? No one can change a system if everyone follows orders with no questions asked. A system has to be endlessly monitored for improvements no matter if a system is already working perfectly. A system needs continual improvement. Anywhere we go there is always a system and we cannot simply change it without the involvement of ALL from the lowest ranks to the highest ranks in terms of their roles in the organization in order to maintain harmony within the organization. Let’s take one example. In WWII the “flat tops” were perfect war machines and to think of changing the system in order to accommodate jet war planes to take off and land was impossible. Today the system of maintaining an Aircraft Carrier battle group still needs improvement and this is precisely any kind of system must be continually improved. In like manner the Bureau of Customs does not only need to be free from corrupt people but the whole system must be revised for further improvement.

  8. Apolonio Reyes on

    I do not know Gen. Biazon and his son Ruffy but I believe that among the politicians today both have integrity which is badly lacking among the many if not all past and present politicians before and after martial law. These politicians as what the late Jaime Cardinal Sin said after EDSA I are the thieves that were let lose when we jailed Ali Baba. It is about time that we all look for them and PUT THEM BACK ALL IN JAIL.

  9. Since the BOC overhaul, and the exposure of the padrino system that made it difficult for Mr. Biazon to shuffle personnel around, it might be a good idea to bring back Gen. Lim to head the department rather than these two. It will depend on the trust factor that any replacement must be honest, tough, and resistant to bribery.

  10. Tama ka Mr Biazon… Hindi sapat ang mahabang listahan ng professional achievement…it must be partnered with the utmost level of honesty and integrity. Malimit, kung sinong sobrang galing…magaling ding gumawa ng pera using his position. Honesty and integrity must come first, not experience nor kinship.