Dela Rosa urges BoC to be transparent: I’m powerful but not ‘power-tripping’
MANILA, Philippines —Senator Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa on Tuesday asked the Bureau of Customs (BoC) to be transparent after he was denied a spot report on a raid conducted in a sugar warehouse in Davao.
As vice chairman of the Senate blue ribbon committee, Dela Rosa said he wanted to get information about the raid in the province, but local customs collectors told his office to request it at their central’s office.
The committee chaired by Senator Francis Tolentino is investigating the issuance of the controversial Sugar Order No. 4 that would have authorized the importation of 300,000 metric tons of sugar.
“We shall be transparent. Kung wala tayong tinatago (If we’re not hiding anything)… that’s a public document, spot reports are public documents,” Dela Rosa said during the ongoing hearing of the committee.
Dela Rosa, a former police chief, said that spot reports in the Philippine National Police are made accessible to the media.
“E bakit sa customs, vice chairman ng blue ribbon committee ayaw bigyan ng spot report ng customs collectors niyo dun sa Davao? Bakit, may tinatago ba kayo?” Dela Rosa asked.
(But why are your customs collectors in Davao refusing to give the vice chairman of the blue ribbon committee the spot report? Are you hiding something?)
Immediately, the senator clarified that he wasn’t mad at the Commissioner, but he only wanted to know why the local customs collectors denied their request for spot reports.
“Hindi naman ako nagpa-power-tripping, commissioner. Ako lang, gusto ko lang maka-contribute dito sa committee na ito na maging successful kami sa aming investigation,” he said.
(I’m not power-tripping. I just want to contribute to the committee so that we can be successful in our investigation.)
“Hindi ako nagpa-power-trip, matagal na akong very powerful physically and whatever. Powerful ako pero ayokong gamitin yung power dito para ipapahiya kayo or ipakita na siga kami na mga senador. Ayaw namin ng ganun,’ Dela Rosa added.
(I’m not power-tripping; I’m already very powerful physically and whatever. I’m powerful, but I don’t want to use my power to embarrass you or to make us senators look menacing. We don’t want that.)
In the end, the Commissioner promised to call the concerned customs official’s attention and review their processes and modify them accordingly.