Robin Padilla lashes out inattentive customs execs at agri smuggling hearing
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Robin Padilla scolded customs personnel who were supposedly not paying attention to him at a Senate hearing on agricultural smuggling on Thursday.
While delivering his opening remarks at the joint panel session led by the Senate committee on agriculture, two resource persons from the Bureau of Customs (BOC) drew Padilla’s keen attention.
“Pwede pong makinig itong dalawang ito sa Bureau of Customs dahil para po sa inyo ito. Excuse me, busy ba kayo? Baka busy kayo? Para sa inyo itong sinasabi ko, pwede ba kayong makinig?” an apparently irked senator asked.
(Can these two individuals listen from the Bureau of Customs because this is for you. Excuse me, are you busy? Maybe you’re busy? Can you please listen because what I’m saying is for you?)
“’Di ba sa Bureau of Customs kayo? ‘Di ba kayo nahihiya? Smuggling itong pinaguusapan natin, makinig kayo,” he contined.
(Aren’t you from the Bureau of Customs? Aren’t you ashamed? We’re talking about smuggling here, so please listen.)
Padilla lamented that the Philippines’ heavy reliance on imports is embarrassing for a country of farmers.
“Law enforcement kayo, pinamumugaran tayo ng smuggling. Sa tingin ‘nyo ba masaya ako na life imprisonment lang kayo?” he went on, still addressing the customs officials.
(You are in law enforcement, yet smuggling thrives under your watch. Do you think I’m happy that you only get life imprisonment?)
The senator later said he would push for a death penalty law against BOC personnel found involved in smuggling.
Several measures have already been filed in the Senate to penalize government employees and officials conspiring with agricultural smugglers.