Aquino’s moves in Customs ‘confuse’ Trillanes

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Sen. Antonio Trillanes III INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — Senator Antonio “Sonny” Trillanes IV is now waiting for President Benigno Aquino III’s next move after he exposed the alleged corruption in the Bureau of Customs.

Trillanes, in an interview with reporters on Tuesday, said he was “confused” that after berating the bureau, the President still rejected the resignation of Customs Commissioner Rufino Biazon.

“I’m confused kasi nilabas nya ang  sama ng loob nya , ibig sabihin nun e talagang grabe na ang sitwasyon. Ngayon yung head of agency, you are principally responsible, everything that’s happening,” he said. (I’m confused because he already expressed his sentiments, meaning the situation is serious. Now, the head of the agency, you are principally responsible for everything that’s happening)

“Medyo confused ako at this point. Bakit hindi mo tinanggap yung resignation ni Biazon? Pero sige diskarte mo yan.” (I’m a bit confused at this point. Why didn’t you accept Biazon’s resignation? But that’s your style)

“Naghihintay tayo ngayon ng next step kasi wala pa ring action ang nagyayari. Kasi lumabas ka ng sama ng loob,  nilabas mo yung  problema, may nag-resign, hindi mo tinanggap. Ngayon ano ang gagawin mo? I’m willing to be surprised,” he said. (I’m waiting now for their next step. Because you expressed your sentiments, someone had resigned, you did not accept it. Now, what are you going to do?)

Trillanes was convinced that the President himself knew the corrupt people in customs based on how he rebuked them in public.

This is why he can’t understand why the Senate has to investigate the issue and the so-called “padrino system” in the bureau when they know the people behind it.

“Ako I will support it pero bakit pa kung alam naman na natin. I’m sure  alam na ni Senator Escudero kung sinu sino yung mga nire-refer dyan. Alam na din ni  President Aquino kung sino sino yung mga nire refer na padrino so aanuhin pa natin ito?” Trillanes asked. (I will support it but what for if we already know. I’m sure Senator Escudero who were the “padrino”s” being referred to? So what is this for?)

He was referring to Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero, chairman of the Senate committee on finance, who filed a resolution, urging an investigation into the “padrino system” in the BoC.

Trillanes admitted that he was “not hopeful” that the revamp now being implemented in the bureau would address the corruption problem there.

“Hinahayaan ko yung executive na gawin nila yung kailangan nilang gawin at tayo dito, titingnan natin kung may epekto yun, yung ginagawa nila,” he said. (I will let the executive do what they have to do and we will see if what they’re doing will have an effect)

If the present Customs head would be replaced, Trillanes said he would probably recommend former Senator Panfilo Lacson to replace Biazon.

He said Lacson, who had previously rejected the idea, might agree to accept the post if the President would convince him.


Related stories:

Senate probe sought into Customs’ ‘padrino system’

Aquino asked to sack, charge erring Customs officials

Originally posted at 4:11 p.m.

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