After daring Customs deputy commissioner Jessie Dellosa to name names amid the controversy on resurging smuggling, Marikina Rep. Romero “Miro” Quimbo, chairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means, must now also walk the talk.
Quimbo must make good his promise to cite Dellosa in contempt if the latter continues to ignore the committee’s repeated summons and fail to appear at congressional hearings.
Rampant smuggling as well as widespread corruption at the Bureau of Customs (BOC) is a public knowledge.
When Dellosa said the government is losing P200 billion in uncollected taxes yearly due to technical smuggling in connivance with BOC personnel, there must be credence to it.
I say the House as a whole must pay attention to Dellosa’s published statements.
Unlike the fascinating allegations about Wang Bo’s multi-million dollar bribery to lawmakers and commissioners of the Bureau of Immigration, this “revelation” on massive smuggling came from the horse’s mouth.
I say Quimbo must subpoena Customs Commissioner Bert Lina, as well as Dellosa and the rest of deputy commissioners and district collectors.
If Quimbo fails to show he has the balls to summon the top Customs officials, we might construe that he’s just grandstanding.
Malacañang’s wonder boy Lina replaced former Customs commissioner John Sevilla, who was forced out after refusing to appoint a member of an influential religious organization to a juicy position for lack of qualifications.
Sevilla claimed that such move was part of efforts to make the BOC a milking cow for the ruling Liberal Party’s war chest for the coming May elections.
The bottom line here is “unmask” smuggling lords who are in cahoots with corrupt customs personnel.
Dellosa dropped the bomb in the wake of the controversy over Lina’s stupid scheme to raid the overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) balikbayan boxes.
Furious OFWs around the world accused Lina’s henchmen of covering up the multi-billion peso smuggling involving themselves.
OFW and Filipino migrant groups abroad blasted Lina for going after the “small fry smugglers” and turning a blind eye on the Aduana mafia.
Again, the former Armed Forces chief must know what he was talking about.
I’m confident Dellosa will show the courage and prove his mettle amid intense questioning.
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Controversial irrigation dam finished in 2017
After four government administration and two top irrigation heads lost their jobs, the much awaited P15.7 billion Balog-balog multi-purpose dam in Tarlac is set to be finished by 2017.
The dam, expected to irrigate hundreds of thousands of rice lands in Central Luzon, and could generate 45-megawatts of electricity for the island, is a priority project of the Pnoy administration.
National Irrigation Administration (NIA) chief Florencio Padernal said the President wanted the multi-purpose dam completed under his term.
Balog-balog dam, named after a river in the area, was brought up once more when Pnoy assumed office in 2010. NIA administrator Antonio Nangel was forced to retire for his failure to deliver the President’s wishes. His successor, Claro Maranan, was also booted out of office after several months only as the NIA boss.
“It really could have been finished during the President’s term. Unfortunately we are running out of time,” Padernal said.
Padernal assumed office only in July 2014 and immediately laid a plan to finish the dam immediately.
However, due to the enormous size of the dam, engineers set the completion of the project in three to four years.
Padernal gave assurances the chief executive that Balog-balog dam will be up and running by the first quarter of 2017.
“Yun naman pala.”
As the saying goes,”if there’s a will, there is really a way.”
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