TWELVE of the 17 port collectors ordered by Philippine Customs Commissioner Rozzano Rufino Biazon to vacate their positions submitted courtesy resignations on July 27, a day after their chief told them to do so.
Among the 12 officials were district collectors Carlos So of Ninoy Aquino International Airport, Rogel Gatchalian of the Port of Manila, Ricardo Belmonte of the Manila International Container Port (MICP), Edward dela Cuesta of Cebu, Oswaldo Geli of Surigao, Eduard James Dy Buco of Davao, Adelina Molina of Subic, Ronnie Silvestre of Clark and Darwisha Shuck of Zamboanga.
Five sub-port collectors also resigned. They were Noah Dimaporo of Harbour Center in Cagayan de Oro, Jemima Sy-Flores of North Harbor, Josefa Villasenor of Nasipit, Agusan del Norte; Pendatum Alim of Dadiangas, General Santos; and Pedro Quiñones of Parang, Maguindanao.
Biazon had given the customs officials until Monday, July 29, to file their resignations.
The bureau was one of the agencies chastised by President Benigno Aquino in his State of the Nation Address on July 22. Biazon immediately offered his resignation after the speech but this was rejected by the President who said he still had confidence in Biazon.
Following Biazon’s resignation were deputy commissioners Danilo Lim (Intelligence Group) and Juan Lorenzo Tañada (Internal Administration Group).
As of press time, the President had not yet decided on whether he would accept Lim and Tañada’s resignations.
Meanwhile, House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte said he would push for the filing of charges against lawmakers found meddling in the operations of the Bureau of Customs. At the same time, he said he wants to hold an inquiry to come up with ways to improve the embattled agency.
The Speaker also denied allegations his brother’s (MICP district collector Belmonte) entry into the bureau had his backing. Belmonte is one of the so-called “Three Kings” of customs, along with So and Gatchalian.
Belmonte said his brother had expressed his desire to complete his tenure at the BOC, since he is set to retire in six months. Having served the BOC for 34 years, Ricardo believes he is entitled to a regular retirement, Belmonte added.
In the meantime, there are reports circulating that Internal Revenue commissioner Kim Henares could take the place of Biazon.
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