I’m convinced now that this guy Alberto Lina is really not suited for the post of Customs commissioner, contrary to his Malacañang backers’ claims that he is cut out for the job he briefly held during Gloria Arroyo’s administration.
I say so because he has proven to be incompetent and inefficient. That is why all is not well at the waterfront.
Smuggling has surged to an all-time high but the Bureau of Customs (BOC) chief has chosen to train his sight on the small fry.
What’s worse, he is picking on the balikbayan boxes sent by our fellow kababayan overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).
So, he has clearly shown his incompetence and inefficiency. If this is not the case, then that would mean he has the blessings on the illegal activities at the BOC, particularly technical smuggling.
There’s little wonder now that Lina’s swift appointment was met with criticism, as well as scepticism, after former Customs commissioner John Sevilla was forced to resign.
Lina, who owns a chain of companies that deals with Customs day in and out, is guilty of “conflict of interest.”
In fact, one business entity had filed a plunder case against Lina and has asked the Office of the Ombudsman to preventively suspend the Customs chief.
“Evidence of respondent Lina’s guilt is strong. The charge against Lina involves dishonesty, oppression or grave misconduct or neglect in the performance of duty,” Omniprime Marketing Inc. said in a motion filed recently.
The officials were charged with plunder, graft and violation of the procurement law over a P650-million deal for an integrated Customs processing system that was allegedly canceled.
It turned out that Lina’s own private company, the E-Konek Pilipinas stand to benefit from the deal.
Lina’s screw-ups and ill-designed moves transpired one after the other and media, of course, reported these.
The Customs chief now hates the press, just like the “bright head” at the Palace that he reports to.
Lina has imposed a media gag, ordering a “news blackout” among his five deputy commissioners.
He just doesn’t understand that the public must know what the hell he’s doing at BOC, and it is the job of the news media to report about it.
Any individual citizen or taxpayer, as well as the general public, must have access to information on government transactions. We must have freedom to know about activities of public interest.
Lina must clarify once and for all his “media gag” order in the wake of BOC’s blunder on implementing stricter rules on balikbayan boxes.
This move is clearly the opposite of Noynoy’s pronouncements about maintaining transparency in the government in line with its anti-graft and corruption drive.
There must be no legal basis for Lina’s latest blunder, repressing the press. What is he hiding from the media and the public?
The only classified information that can be withheld from the media is information pertaining to “national security.”
Lina reportedly wants to handpick reporters, whom he will accredit through his sponsored BOC press corps, and only those can be allowed to enter the BOC compound in Aduana.
BOC PIAD head Belle Maestro was quoted as saying that the Customs Police would have to bar unaccredited media representatives from “loitering” at the BOC area. Meanwhile, known smugglers roam freely there.
Lina’s Gestapo would be another first at the BOC.
Not all legitimate media practitioners are even required to be a member of the distinguished National Press Club.
Makapal na, garapal pa. I-bartolina na nga yan!!!
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Sex and drugs at bingo centers?
What’s this I heard from the grapevine that sex and drug trades are rampant inside some bingo centers in Quezon City?
Rumos have it that several patrons of these online bingo centers do not frequent the said places to play but to solicit sex, while some look for dope.
But what seems to be disturbing is the report that its female employees allegedly sell their bodies to bingo players.
Also, drugs change hands between customers and pushers in dark corners or in the bathrooms of the facilities, according to rumors.
Authorities, particularly the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (PAGCOR), should do surprise inspections at places like the Bingo Boss, Bingo Boutique, E-Games, and Premiere Bingo to check the veracity of these stories.
According to the same report, the owner is aware of the sex and drug trade happening inside his chain of electronic bingo outlets.
And guess who owns all these places? One “Si (Poncio) Pilato.” No kidding! Who is this “Pilato” and where did he come from, will be for our next topic, folks.