The regime’s full-throated march to idiocy


I HAVE yet to agree with a Marcos in 62 years , which is my age. But you have to appreciate the crafting of Senator Marcos’ response to the government’s war against Balikbayan boxes. The boxes, Mr. Marcos said, are now the endearing replacements to the love letters that homesick Filipinos abroad used to send to their families back home.

Instead of the written expression of love, remembrance and caring, Mr. Marcos said, the homesick Filipino overseas now have an itemized list – broken down to the last intimate detail – of things in the box for every member of his or her family here. It is now the second best way to express intimacy, after the Skype chats. And we are fully aware, the senator said, of the blood and sweat and toil dedicated to buy those things inside those boxes, painstakingly itemized for every member of the family back home.

Smuggling via small boxes by the OFWs? Have you no shame to even insinuate that, Mr. Marcos told the Aquino mandarins behind the assault on the boxes. The top man – ironically – is the owner of companies dogged by multiple tax payment problems. Have you no shame, man?

The reaction of the family members back home to the “new love letters” is predictable – an amalgam of joy and tears. From a deeply personal realm, my eyes often well when I receive notes like this one which I recently received from a next of kin based in Palo Alto. It said,

“Old Man. I will be sending in a box and these items are for you. Under Armour running shirts (small/fitted) , 1 pair Saucony sneakers (latest Omni model ha ha ), coffee beans now in plastic zip locks to save on space, Splenda also in zip locks also to save space, slim straight jeans size 29/32, low calorie and low sugar energy bars.

“Will also be sending a personal coffee maker (single cup, Krueger brand with a voltage regulator and four reusable pods) that you can pack in a small bag.

Much love.

As the senator said, every item sent is a proxy for a hug or an embrace that the senders cannot deliver thousands of miles away from home. One more thing: The Palo Alto-based sender surely does a lot of excruciating algorithm to earn the dollars for the items in the Balikbayan boxes she regularly sends to her next of kin in the country.

Do the idiots at customs think that such expressions of remembrance and caring, especially to the next of kin back home who are in the winter of their lives, constitute smuggling, or tax evasion for that matter? Just in case I am profit-minded, how can I resell Splenda and ground coffee in plastic zip locks?

Balikbayan boxes mostly contain stripped-bare items to save space. For a California sending fee of $50 to $60 per box, the senders from there try to max out on space use. Even soap and toothpaste go off their cartons so the sender can pack many cheap and non-commercial items inside one BB. Roughly 99 per cent of the boxes are items for household consumption and use with, absolutely, no commercial purpose whatsoever. Of course, 12 pieces of a single item are not an anomaly. They are items from the dollar stores.

The desperation of the Bureau of Customs people in particular and the tax policies of the Aquino government in general get much more depressing as we look into the general backdrop of the assault on the BB, now a cherished part of the OFW lore.

The sector being penalized here are the OFWs, the equivalent of our modern-day heroes, the economic savior of the country for almost a generation, the sector constantly beating the odds on the level of remittances. The country would have long been a basket case had it not been for the determination and remittances of our OFWs.

All governments and all presidents have paid lip service to the heroism of OFWs but no one has done anything concrete to better their lives. The BB is just one of the few rare institutional relief – though really a token – to their tough and challenged lives overseas.

As the bishops and other major political leaders have pointed out, the revenue generation efforts should not have trained the guns on the OFWs but rather on the large-scale and massive smuggling of goods, from cars to agricultural commodities.

The BOC has been losing track of containerized cargoes passing through the various ports, an act of criminal neglect, while its penny ante revenue efforts are focused on the BBs. With the BOC’s eyes fixed on the small boxes, shiploads of containerized goods pass through with ease and without paying taxes at the porous seaports and airports.

In the agri sector for example, some vigilant anti-smuggling groups have compared the official customs record on imported agri commodities with those tallied by the UN-based agencies. They found out this one. Last year, the officially recorded rice imports was more than 1 million metric tons . But the actual volume shipped was over 2 million metric tons. That was the same case for pork, dressed chicken and beef. The official BOC tally was grossly understated.

Every thing slips through the ports with ease. Yet, yet, the idiots at customs have been more focused on the BBs than big-time smuggling that constitute economic sabotage.

Of course, Lina’s move to assault BBs was green-lighted by Mr. Aquino. That policy is anti-worker. So that is perfectly OK with the President of the one percent. We have yet to see an anti-worker, anti-poor policy that Mr. Aquino does not like.

Marlen Ronquillo


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  1. para sa mga kultong dilawan , kung may ninakaw sa inyo si marcos na ibinibintang ninyo, patunayan ninyo??? ilabas ninyo ang inyong ebidensiya… sabi nga ni donald trumps sa kanyang sa pangangapanya ang mga kultong dilaw daw ay may mentally disability at mentally disorder..

  2. this regime is really funny. They really have a way of assholing all sectors in the philippines. pati ba naman mga nananahimik na mga ofw? grabe talaga itong grupo ni noynoy. parang lahat nag uunahang gumawa ng palpak. And daming makukulong after 2016 election.

  3. Mariano Patalinjug on

    Yonkers, New York
    30 August 2015

    It was nice of Senator Ferdnand “Bongbong” Marcos” to weigh in that way on the recent brouhaha created by the Bureau of Customs’ heartless practice of opening those “Balikbayan” boxes, allegedly in search of contraband and other illegal items.

    And good of President Aquino to have responded by directing the BOC just “to stop it!”

    The BOC would be well advised to focus its efforts on the big-time smugglers. For instance, it probably closed its corrupt eyes to those 2,000 containers which were reported to have vanished just like that! No good explanation from the BOC so far.

    The BOC is clearly “barking up the wrong tree!” It had better shape up.


  4. excellent topic! I myself could still remember the suppression of rights during the old marcos days but as I follow the younger marcos, so far so good. If he continues along this path, he may be just president one day. And yes, I was about to pack our boxes for my family when this unthinkable system of BOC came up. They don’t care about the poor at all, they just are consumed with greed and justify what is unjustifiable and legalize what is not legal. It is just time to clean up our country and opt for someone with a good record of governance, not corrupt, and make our streets safe again.

  5. Why should they go after the big smugglers who continue to grease their hand and provide election funding .. Squeeze the middle class and the poor.. That is and has been the administration’s modus operandi… From gasoline e to electricity to water to toll roads to taxing foodstuff to VAT … These program is right before our noses …matuwid na daan … Sadly full of POOP

  6. Like your columnist I would cross the street if I saw a member of this most dubious family heading in my direction..however the young Mr Marcos Has got it absolutely right about balikbayan boxes…they are sent here with with love…When I was working in England I would put a couple of items away every week until I had enough to fill a box and then I would ship it home…Yes an expensive and time consuming exercise..but worth every minute and every penny…HANDS OFF OUR BALIKBAYAN BOXES.

  7. Mr. Marlene eto Lang Naman ang ang simpleng sagot Sa tanong Na bakit OFWs??…… balikbayan boxes Kasama Na ang rank and file Sa malawakang pagnanakaw so everybody happy….sa container vans at volume smuggled goods managers Lang lang naghahatian…kaya di sila happy

  8. si BBmarcos , niintindihan at nararamdaman nya ang damdamin ng mga MAHIHIRAP KAHIT hind cya mahirap . WALA TAYO NARINING NI MINSAN NA GANITO pagsasalita ni bsaquino .. AQUINO AND ROXAS CANNOT RELATE TO POOR PEOPLES’ FEELING AT KALAGAYAN kaya after 6-yrs of being president , Aquino did not even mind / care doing anything for the poor or for the country to help uplift the lives of the millions common Filipino people . Walang plano o goal c bs Aquino sa nation building ,. sI bsaquino kuntento na lang sa sarili nyang hacienda at maghiganti sa mga ayaw nyang tao.. … MY FELLOW FILIPINOS , BBMARCOS POSSESSES THE QUAITY OF A PRESIDENT / LEADER at that . Huwag natin sayangin ang panahon . LET US ALL VOTE FOR BBMARCOS FOR PRESIDENT of the PHILIPPINES and only then can the FILIPINOS AND THE PHILIPPINES WIL BE GREAT AGAIN

  9. Happily Married on

    My wife and I live in the USA and usually send 1 or 2 Balikbayan boxes per year. When my wife heard about the new policy, she said “No More! We will just send money. I don’t want them stealing our family’s things.”

  10. I too have a sister in America that regularly sends balikbayan boxes every Christmas to her surviving siblings here. You are correct that every item in those boxes are specifically chosen to suit the recipients needs and fancies like being a golf enthusiast myself I always find golf balls, golf shorts and t shirts in my box and for my brother and sister in law in the province their medical pills being old and now sickly. It would hurt my sister to know that her expressions of love and concern for her siblings are now the object of the wanton greed of the morons here in this administration. I have never experienced such idiocy in government in my life I condemn to the highest degree the smug and arrogant posturing of this lina who might not know it but he has in one sweep plunged to utter defeat the chances of mar and the rest of pnoy’s clones in the next polls.

    • edilberto milan on

      Tayo po ay may mga batas at ayaw po natin ang seletive justice katulad sa ginawa ng SC sa case ni Enrile; Hindi po pwede na dahil tayo nagreremit ng dollar dapat tayong lturing na above rhe law.Dapat po nating ipagmalaki ang pahihing law abiding dito sa ating bayan at ibang bansa…

  11. Eh simple lang naman itong problemang ito na ginawa nanaman ng magalong na tuwid na daan leader! Puro kaputahan at walang kahiya hiyang kapal muks! Puro pea pera pera gaya ng kapatid nuyang materyosa…walag awa sa mahihrap, kung mapapansin ninyo puro mayayaman friend niya, at magimik pa! Paano magnonobya ng isang baka? Paki-paliwanag nyo nga, please? Ahhhhh, gimmick lang, ok!