Customs Commissioner Ruffy Biazon’s suggestion that the agency he heads be abolished and replaced with a private institution needs to be looked into.
It has merit; Biazon’s reason is valid.
If a private agency collects duties and taxes for incoming and outgoing cargoes, the government may just be able to collect the correct amount of revenues.
Corruption at the customs bureau starts when importers or brokers misdeclare or underdeclare the contents of a shipment.
There would be no corruption if a private agency collected the tariff for the government. The civilian institution would be paid by the government on a percentage basis.
Biazon’s suggestion should be studied closely instead of being dismissed offhand by Malacañang.
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There are speculations within the Bureau of Customs that Biazon made the radical suggestion because he was tired of the “vested interest” groups that make his work of going after smugglers difficult.
The alleged vested interest groups include politicians, a religious sect and a Cabinet member.
These groups have people within the bureau who Biazon cannot easily remove or reassign.
Some Customs insiders, however, claim that a Cabinet member is given a lion’s share of the monthly “for the boys” collection.
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A Court of Appeals justice reportedly comes to his office in luxury and flashy cars, to the chagrin of fellow justices.
His “flavor of the month” is a Mercedes Benz sports car.
Why he has to display the alleged fruits of his corruption—where else would he have gotten the money to buy those expensive cars?—is unfathomable to his fellow justices, most of whom are corrupt, according to insiders.
The justice was not born rich; neither had he married into a rich family.
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Some line agents at the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) have questioned the appointment of Rafael Ragos as deputy director.
An NBI line agent is either a lawyer or accountant.
According to these agents, Ragos is not a lawyer. His appointment did not pass through the bureau’s selection board, they add.
All deputy directors are supposed to come from the ranks of line agents.
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Gift certificates from a drug store chain and a book store chain are being distributed by Team P-Noy or Liberal Party candidates, according to the United Nationalist Alliance.
The gift certificates allegedly come from Kaya Natin Movement, a nongovernment organization (NGO) cofounded by Commissioner Grace Padaca of the Commission on Elections.
“Kaya Natin” is endorsing the candidacies of Team P-Noy senatorial bets Bam Aquino, Ramon Magsaysay Jr., Risa Hontiveros and Koko Pimentel.
The distribution of gift checks is prevalent in Quezon City’s 3rd congressional district where 1,000 gift checks for school supplies are allegedly being given to each student of voting age.
If this is not vote-buying, I don’t know what is.
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Let me repeat what I wrote in a previous column, because abusive and criminal cops still abound despite its publication:
There is now a group of vigilante cops within the Philippine National Police (PNP).
These cops are not after ordinary criminals; they’re after their own who abuse the badge.
They kill their own kind.
The first to fall was a Manila policeman who was allegedly a member of a robbery gang that preyed on households in Sta. Ana district.
He was shot by vigilante cops riding tandem on a motorcycle.
Be warned, rogue cops!