THE resignation of Commissioner Rufino “Ruffy” Biazon, of the Bureau of Customs (BoC) has raised public clamor for legislators implicated in the priority development assistance fund (PDAF) to also do the same, but some senators insisted that legislators are in a different situation.
Senate deputy minority leader Vicente Sotto 3rd said that the situation of Biazon is diffident from the legislators accused of mishandling the pork barrel funds because unlike the customs chief who is appointed, the senators and congressmen were elected by the people.
Sotto explained that a cabinet official or an appointed official serves under the pleasure, trust and confidence of the President which means all his action whether positive or negative have an effect on the president and his administration.
“So it is only proper for any appointed official, under fire, to resign to spare the president and the administration from damage,” he pointed out.
But for an elected official, Sotto said, the situation is different because they are not serving under the pleasure of the chief executive but of the public who voted for them.
Sotto said it will not be proper for a senator or congressman to resign just because he or she is being accused by a couple lawyers.
“If ask elected officials to resign because of allegation hurled against him by one or two individuals then there will be no one left in congress,” he added.
Biazon on Monday quit his post as head of the BOC several days after he was included in the complaint filed by the Department of Justice over the alleged misuse of his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) when he was a congressman.
“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.
It is not the first time Biazon resign from his post, the first was last July after President Benigno Aquino 3rd, blasted the BOC for its failure to curb corruption in his state-of-the-nation-address (SONA).
Biazon sent a text message to Aquino informing the president of his plan to quit which the president rejected.
But some observers believe that the chief executive really wants to let go of Biazon that time and the Aquino would have accepted his resignation that time if only Biazon made it more formal instead of a mere text message.
Senator Ferdinand Macos Jr., said that the situation of Biazon and elected officials are different simply because the president could immediately replace him with another person, but elected officials can’t be replaced that easily.
“Our mandate was given by the people and not the president,” he added. Jefferson Antiporda