• PNoy’s silence debunks “tuwid na daan”

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    The resignation of Bureau of Customs (BOC) commissioner John “Sunny” Sevilla last week had many thinking Filipinos shaking their heads in disbelief, not only because of the shocking exposé of the ex-BOC chief but more so because of PNoy’s silence about Sevilla’s revelations of politicking and influence peddling emanating from the highest corridors of power.

    During the press conference announcing his resignation, Sevilla said he did not want the agency to be used as a “milking cow” for the fund raising activities of political camps for the coming elections. He also said earlier that he wanted to ensure that the bureau conducted its dealings fairly and that he won’t allow it to be used in extortion activities.

    Sevilla also cited the growing pressure from certain people – particularly in the appointment of personnel to key positions – as the main reason for his resignation. He said he felt and sensed that the ugly face of politics was creeping back into the system. While he did everything to insulate the BOC from politicking, Sevilla says “it’s becoming very difficult and it might be impossible to hold on to the reforms in the coming months.”

    Apparently, the last straw for Sevilla was the impending appointment by Malacañang of BOC Intellectual Property Rights Division acting chief Teddy Sandy Raval as the new head of the Enforcement and Security Service (ESS) or more commonly known as the Customs police. As chief of the ESS, Raval would control 400 or so Customs policemen manning the “lucrative” gates of the ports.

    The former BOC chief says he tried to resist Raval’s appointment for as long as he could. “I learned fairly recently that the appointment is going to come through. I said, look there is something that is not right about this and I think it is something that’s important enough to the future of Customs and to me personally to take a stand against,” Sevilla said.

    Sevilla named “Secretary (Cesar) Purisima, (Finance) Undersecretary (Carlo) Carag, Deputy Executive Secretary (Teofilo) Pilando (Jr.) and Executive Secretary (Jojo) Ochoa” as the Palace officials behind Raval’s endorsement.

    The Ivy-league educated BOC chief also revealed that during his term, he received calls and text messages from politicians and other government officials who asked favors – like hiring people they endorsed, promoting employees and releasing smuggled shipments – all of which he says he rejected. Sevilla refused to divulge the names of those who called him or sent him text messages, only saying that it was “people in government.”

    Sevilla’s revelations are alarming to say the least.

    For one, it seems to confirm the rumors that powerful groups within the Aquino administration are moving to position certain “operators” in the BOC ahead the 2016 national elections. It appears Sevilla stood in the way of this group’s scheme to turn the tax-collecting agency into a gold mine for campaign funding. They needed someone willing to play ball.

    Is this the reason why Alberto “Bert” Lina – a known supporter of the ruling Liberal Party (LP) and a close friend of Department of Finance (DOF) Secretary Cesar Purisima since their Hyatt 10 days – was appointed as the new Customs chief?

    That top Palace officials are interfering in the promotions and assignment process in an agency reputed as one of the most corrupt, is proof that PNoy’s rhetoric about pursuing professionalism and meritocracy in the bureaucracy is a sham.

    But it is Malacañang’s response (or lack of it) that not a few folks find infuriating.

    A few hours after Sevilla’s press conference, Malacañang released to the media a copy of the letter signed by Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr. accepting Sevilla’s resignation. At the same time, the Palace also released a copy of Lina’s appointment letter as the new BOC commissioner.

    Other than praising Sevilla for his anti-corruption initiatives in the agency, all Malacañang could say about Sevilla’s revelation was that “corruption still persists in the BOC because the agency’s problem is ‘institutional’ and many of the agency’s processes are still susceptible to personal influence.”

    Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said Sevilla’s revelations about the corruption and bribery in the BOC only showed that the agency needs to undergo “systemic reforms.” “What is needed here is the institutional strengthening of the Bureau of Customs,” Coloma explained.

    And in contrast to the PNP and other critical agencies whose top post still remains vacant, Sevilla’s replacement was appointed with suspicious haste. It seems Malacañang wants to sweep this scandal under the rug and move on as quickly as possible.

    Sevilla also disclosed that he personally met with President Benigno Aquino 3rd to hand over his resignation. We’re sure Sevilla bared these irregularities to PNoy.

    That PNoy accepted Sevilla’s resignation without hesitation while turning a blind eye to the shenanigans of his Palace cadre goes to show that under the Aquino administration, politics (and political fundraising) trumps good governance.

    This is what “Tuwid na Daan” really means after all.

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    27 Comments

    1. Pnoy’s “tuwid na Daan” is truly straight to the path of a deep cliff when Pnoy and his gang pushed the so-called corrupt oppositions like Corona, Gutierrez, ENRILE, Estrada, REVILLA to the ravine yo break their necks to die. But Pnoy stirred his allies, cabinet men who themselves are guilty of corruptions via embezzlements of DAF funds like ALCALA, Abad, Drilon, Tupaz, Angara, Escudero, et. Al. Thus, tuwid na daan is indeed leading to the ravine of death for the oppositions but enrichment for the allies of Pnoy.

    2. you must have seen the statue of 3 monkeys; one on top of the other: one is called “no talk”; the other is “no see”; the third is “no hear”. I entitled the 3 statues as “DAP”. The statues, though, lack one more monkey – one monkey in akimbo on top of everyone else. His body should be plastered with “alaxan”, meaning, “walang aray”, “walang pakiramdam”. Ayaw umamin at ayaw mag-resign “salamat sa alaxan”.

    3. Did it not take 3 days for PNoy to come up with his explanation about the Mamasapano debacle? So let’s wait until after 3 days and see what he had come up with, about the John Philip Sevilla’s resignation.

    4. Amnata Pundit on

      What made seemingly intelligent people to buy into Boy Sayad’s “Tuwid Na Daan” propaganda in the first place is what mystifies me.

    5. will it be illegal to shoot down these corrupt crooks?
      pinagloloko na kayo ng harap harapan, wala pa rin kayong magawa ?

    6. Vicente Penetrante on

      Bad first day for Bert Lina at the office with BOC strikers and a probe on his company. Maybe it’s too early for Lina to do another Hyatt 10.

    7. This is what is all wrong with the Aquino yellow gang. Sevilla who would not do what the gang wanted was not supported and he resigned. Someone who will work well with the gang is put in his place. Honest people out and corrupt people stay.

      • Right! kasi need nila na this early eh makapagipon na este makakurakot na ng pera para magamit ng mga kandidato ng LP sa eleksyon sa 2016. Ilang buwan na ngang walang hepe ang PNP pero wala pa “daw” silang napipili, hmmmm… Pero sa customs meron agad at appointed agad in less than 24 hours. at ang naappoint pa eh me mga business interest related sa Customs operations. Bakit kaya? Dahil maliit lang ang makukurakot nila sa PNP kaya hindi masyadong inaaapura ang pagpili ng bagong chief o sinasala nilang mabuti kung sino ang susunod sa bawat gustuhin nila. Dapat icondemn din ang lahat ng miyembero ng HYATT 10. ito ang mga urot kay AbNoy.

    8. When this government impeached the then sitting chief justice, it was made possible by billions of pesos offered to their allies in congress, which is tantamount to bribery and we call that the height of daan matuwid ? the end justifies the means? No. the end never justifies the means. the resulting impeachmen only bastardized the law. It only proved that the members of congress can be bought. for a fee.

    9. These will be the same scenarios we will see when they leave malacanang at the end of their term. Same excuses, same palusot about the rhetorics of Tuwid na daan.

    10. Its all totally corrupt & sevilla ( i hope he kept a record of every politician who contacted him for various dubious reasons ) should make a list of all requests from these politicians along with their names & have it published in the media. Let everyone know whats going on. If it all doesnt come out it means there is a cover up & its me protecting you protecting him protecting me. If people wont stand up & be counted nothing will change.

    11. It’s easy to criticize and malign a government’s initiative, but extremely difficult to credit the present government, even, at least, one. The fact is, Pres. Aquino has dented the practice of corruption in the country and this improvement is recognized by an Int. corruption Transparency Group. Who can imagine a corrupt Chief Justice can be impeached? that never happened before. Who would imagine stalwarts and formidable political figures liker Enrile, Arroyo, Estrada, Revilla can be accused and even arrested? Somebody got assassinated during one iron rule, but that’s a different story altogther. This is what the country needs and we need more of it.

      • I can imagine a government rounding up its political enemies and incarcerating them all, using government funds to bribe everyone along the way, including the media, and of course covering up for it’s too obvious and gargantuan corruption. This is showbiz in the first degree; everything is scripted. Double standard, hypocrisy, lies, deception, incompetence, and probably even murder. That’s your government.

      • tumigl ka na nga Mr. Palusot 123, sobrang dilaw ka naman. gumising ka na at wag na matulog sa pansitan. Malaki ba pakinabang mo sa Straight Pathfinders team? if you know what I mean.

      • jason bourne on

        Ganitong klaseng pag-iisip ang nagpapahamak sa ating bansa.
        Kung susundin po natin ang inyong logic ganito po iyon:

        Meron po kayong dalawang anak. Pareho po silang magnanakaw.
        Iyong isa ay sinusupalpal po kayo at iyong isa ay sunuran po sa inyo.
        Ang ipapakulong po ninyo ay iyong inyong anak na lumalaban sa inyo.

        Ganuon po ba?

      • you are blind, deaf, and dumb Jbb, sorry! but a normal person who knows how to strain out the good from the bad will see the corruption and the gimmicks of this administration ruled by a psych 8 year old boy who would hide behind his mommy’s skirt when told he is wrong! you cannot defend a friend or a family because he is friend or family when he/she did something wrong. the good thing to do is make him/her realize that the deed was not good and must correct it. In your case, you just swallow what your favorite says without you diagnosing the real thing. you keep a blind eye because it is easier for you, you defend instead of fight for what is right. it is easier for you. what else is easier for you? enter politics, you will be at home with those people who just say yes sir, and bow their heads. Shame shame shame!

      • Really? Come on man, just because your Boss Pnoy denied there is no corruption in the country now that he is the Big Boss in malacanang you readily believe him and you try to convince people that there is no longer corruption in his government as even an international transparency group recognized that there is none and ergo it follows that the country is free of corruption. The facts surrounding the ouster of CJ Corona then was even marked with charges of bribery on the members of both houses of congress by the use of DAP and PDAF invented by a corrupt mind. Is bribery not a corrupt practice, tell me.

    12. this is the “tuwid na daan” concept in so far as the palace and the bureau of customs is concerned.

      customs commissioner sevilla quits after alledging that there was pressure from finance secretary purisima and executive secretary ochoa on behalf of raval. and from a few other interested parties not of government.

      commissioner sevilla is then replaced, within a day, by alberto lina. a day. ochoa receives the letter of resignation and soon thereafter, a letter was released by his office announcing the designation of alberto lina.

      soon after, there was a “change of command” with commissioner sevilla handing down the commissionership to lina.

      now, you may ask where this is all leading to. the answer is simple. the tuwid na daan concept is that the money trail now starts from the bureau of customs to the coffers of the liberal party for the 2016 elections. the “tuwid na daan” concept could not be more straighter than that. no middle man, no third party, no nothing. and yet this damn administration wants to clean up the bureau of customs. what a bunch of good for nothing officials of government. and yes, that goes for you too, pnoy.

    13. P.Akialamiro on

      Any more questions why the Philippines is one of the topmost corrupt countries in the world? The very sad reality is: the rich gets richer and the poor remain the same and many, many more of them. But, as they say, “at the end of the day”, everyone, rich or poor, etc., will be experiencing the effects: traffic jams, pollution, flooding, robberies, murders, you name it. In effect, the country will be left behind in all of Asia and the world! No more “Perlas Ng Silanganan” at “bayan ng mga bayani” (pangalan na lang na Bayani). Mga “bagong bayani na lang”. All because of the “Tuwad Na Daan”!

    14. Abnoy-noyingski on

      Hindi nagmamadaling tanggapin ang resignation kundi alam nilang di mapapakinabangan si Sevilla at lumalaban kaya: “Palitan yang taong yan ng taong hindi hihindi sa atin para may pang-campaign tayo (LP leaderships) sa darating na eleksiyon…ha ha ha!” wika ng mga LP boys. Simple.