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Poor boy not allowed to graduate


A senior customs official at the Port of Cebu has been tagged as having been given the go-signal to rice importers to smuggle into the country a huge rice shipment.

The P1.2-billion shipment was ordered seized by Customs Commissioner Ruffy Biazon upon the recommendation of Deputy Commissioner for Intelligence Danny Lim, whose men had intercepted the shipment.

For his own sake, the customs official should be transferred since the smugglers, suspecting a double cross, are planning to do him in, according to my sources.

The customs official, who is said to have many properties in Tacloban City, has allegedly enriched himself in the five years he was assigned at the Cebu port.

* * *

Richard C. Lee, an assistant provincial prosecutor of Masbate, was about to receive P2 million from his former employer at the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) office in Quezon City when he did the unexpected.

He took the envelope containing the amount and ran away with it, dumbfounding lawyers and the NLRC arbiter handling the settlement case.

The money was a settlement from his former employer, Fortune Medicare Inc. (FortuneCare), which dismissed him when he was not yet in the government service.

FortuneCare, where he was a company lawyer, let him go because the firm said he was moonlighting and had violated other office regulations.

But because Lee was a prosecutor, the NLRC apparently sided with him in a case he filed against his former company.

But why would Lee grab the money and run when it was going to be handed to him anyway? All that was needed before he could get the P2 million was his signature.

Because of his weird behavior—for how else would you describe his irrational action—FortuneCare has filed robbery charges against him.

Lee is now facing an administrative case for violation of the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees.

His former employer also filed a disbarment case against him in the Supreme Court.

Lawyers have been disbarred by the high court even for minor cases as refusal to fulfill a promise of marriage. Lee’s case, which is one for the books, is worse since it involved an act unbecoming of a lawyer.

* * *

Ralph Benedick Balza, a sixth grade student, was not allowed to march with his classmates on graduation day last April 13 because his parents still owed the school for his tuition.

The management of the Arellano University branch in Pasay City ordered Ralph be pulled out of the graduating class line, to the embarrassment of the boy and his parents.

The boy’s parents, Raul and Belen Balza, admitted they still owed the school P9,000.

The school authorities could have withheld the boy’s report card so they would be compelled to pay the balance.

How could those officials be so callous as to deprive a graduating pupil the joy of marching with his classmates to the stage to receive his diploma?

Why put the pupil and his parents to shame in front of his classmates and other parents?

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Tags: Education , FortuneCare , Masbate , National Labor Relations Commission , NLRC , Ralph Benedick Balza , robbery charges , Ruffy Biazon , Smuggling

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