Biazon explains why he’s staying at BOC, vows to restore public trustBy Jerry Esplanada
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—Bureau of Customs Commissioner Ruffy Biazon calls himself an “active and proud member” of the ruling Liberal Party. But he has vowed to be “politically color blind” and not to use the agency for political purposes in the May 2013 midterm elections.
Speaking to reporters, Biazon on Tuesday said matter-of-factly that “since I’m occupying a very sensitive post, I will not be taking a key role in next year’s elections.”
“I don’t want people to think that I’m using the Bureau of Customs for political purposes. I may be an active and proud member of the LP, but here at the BOC, I’m politically color blind,” he said.
Biazon said he would “remain focused on my vision, not on my political ambition. That is, to have a technology-driven bureau, one that closes loopholes for human intervention, facilitates trade and enhances accountability.”
“I also want to focus on restoring the public trust in the BOC as one of the top revenue-generating agencies of the government,” he also emphasized.
The BOC head did not rule out making another political run, “possibly in 2016.”
“In politics, there are lots of twists and turns. You can’t really program yourself,” he said.
Biazon confided that “within the family, it’s never an issue between us who’s running in the next elections. While it has been a matter of speculation, whether it’s Tatang (his father Muntinlupa City Rep. Rodolfo Biazon) or the commissioner, we’ve been quiet about it. We just smile in silent amusement to the speculation.”
“But it’s never an issue between us,” he pointed out.
Biazon recalled that “when I broke the news to (his father) that I had decided to stay at Customs, he asked, “Sigurado ka ba?”
“All he wants is I do something where there’s no hesitation, no self-doubt on my part,” he said.
He made his decision to stick to his present job at the BOC after meeting President Aquino at Malacañang.
During their meeting, Biazon was told by the President to stay in the Cabinet although he has a “fighting chance” if he runs for senator under the LP slate.
Quoting Mr. Aquino, he said, “I would be very glad if you stay in the BOC.”
“I valued his inputs…After much thought and consideration, as well as prayers, I decided to forgo my bid for the Senate,” said Biazon.
In September 2011, the Palace plucked the then Muntinlupa legislator out of his constituency to head the reform-challenged agency.
Biazon claimed the recent senatorial surveys, where he placed 16th, had nothing to do with his decision.
Rather, “it’s the latest trust survey where the BOC’s negative image improved from very bad to bad.”
“From a minus-69, we got a trust rating of minus-45. From very bad, we went to bad. But I’m an optimistic person and I believe that negative rating will become positive,” he said, adding “we pledge to live up to the President’s and the people’s expectations.”