SONA 2013
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Clinging to their posts like barnacles


Scuttlebutt in Malacañang: Before President Noy delivered his State of the Nation Address (Sona) Monday, he gave each Cabinet member a copy of his speech.

He missed one—Executive Secretary Jojo Ochoa.

Was that deliberate or unintentional?

* * *

Danny Lim, deputy commissioner for the Intelligence Group of the Bureau of Customs, and Juan Lorenzo Tañada, deputy commissioner for the Internal Administration Group, have resigned after the President lambasted the bureau for corruption and poor collection.

Unlike their chief, Customs Commissioner Ruffy Biazon, the two officials’ resignations were irrevocable.

Biazon took back his offer to resign after the President told him to remain.

Biazon blames everybody but himself at Customs for corruption and poor collection.

* * *

There are six deputy commissioners at Customs aside from Lim and Tañada.

Deputy Commissioners Horacio Suansing of enforcement, Prudencio Reyes of assessment and operation, and Director George Alino of the Customs enforcement and security service were reported to have filed their resignations.

However, my Palace source said their resignation letters had not yet reached the Palace.

They probably sent their resignation letters through the post office which, as we all know, is as inefficient as their bureau.

* * *

The two deputy commissioners who have ignored calls for the resignation of high Customs officials are Maria Caridad Manarang of management, information system and technology group; and Peter Manzano of revenue collection monitoring.

They cling to their posts like barnacles to a sinking ship.

Manzano is reportedly a protégé of Executive Secretary Ochoa who, my sources say, has fallen from the grace of the President.

* * *

I can’t speak for his fellow deputy commissioners but I can speak for Danny Lim.

Lim, a retired general, was a member of the Reform the Armed Forces Movement and the Young Officers Union during the time of President Cory Aquino.

If there’s anybody whom the President should implore to remain, it’s Lim.

A West Point graduate, Lim is a very straight guy.

I’ve known him since he was a captain in the Army Rangers.

* * *

Senior Supt. Jose Mario Espino, the sacked chief of the anticrime division of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, denies he and his men helped themselves to the P20 million and 80 kilos of “shabu” (methamphetamine hydrochloride) they seized from a recaptured drug trafficker.

If Espino and his men wanted to show that the raid on the house of drug trafficker Lin Lan Yan was aboveboard, they could have taken barangay officials in the area along with them.

It’s standard operating procedure that police raiders count the items seized during the raid in the presence of barangay officials.

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Tags: Benigno Aquino , Bureau of Customs , Ruffy Biazon , SONA 2013

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