Barbers cites ‘grand design’ to ‘divert attention’ from smuggling issue
There is a “grand design” to “divert” attention from the smuggling issue that hounds the Bureau of Customs (BOC), a lawmaker claimed on Sunday.
Surigao del Norte Second District Representative Robert Ace Barbers scorned at lawyer Mandy Anderson’s social media remark calling House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez as “imbecile” over his threat to abolish the Court of Appeals over the issue of “Ilocos 6.”
“Nakakapagtaka at maaaring isipin na merong grand design nga to divert yong atenisyon ng taumbayan dyan sa Customs (It is astonishing, and we can’t help but think that there’s a grand design to divert the people’s attention from what is happening at the Customs),” Barbers said in an interview with radio DZBB.
While claiming he does not question Anderson’s right to express herself, Barbers said that it is not “proper” and “decent” to speak against the fourth most powerful person in the country.
“I don’t think that is proper, I don’t think that is decent. Although we’re not questioning her right o karapatan na mag issue ng mga salita o statement, wala kaming problema don (to say words or issue statements, we do not have a problem with that). But you have to know your limits, you have to know your boundaries too. Because you wouldn’t want people also to call you something,” the lawmaker said.
Anderson, chief of staff of BOC chief Nicanor Faeldon, earlier claimed that Alvarez asked her to promote a Customs employee on his behalf. But when it did not materialize, Anderson received “threatening” messages from his staff.
The Speaker confirmed that he sent a letter to the BOC recommending the promotion but denied it was “lobbying.”
Barbers said Anderson should apologize to the Speaker because the behavior is “uncalled for.”
“Dapat maisip nya yan (She should realize that). She is very smart. She is a lawyer. Dapat alam nya ang (She should know the) limit and boundaries no’ng kanyang posisyon d’yan sa (of her position at the) Bureau of Customs,” he said.
Barbers, the chair of House Committee on Dangerous Drugs, said he will also consider the recommendation of some lawmakers to cut the agency’s budget following the P6-billion worth of illegal drugs that passed through the BOC.
“Kung meron mang ganyang panukala malamang talagang pag-aaralan yan kung talagang ipatutupad. Again ang sinasabi natin, let us not veer away from the issue ng droga,” he explained.
(If there is such a proposal, it should really be studied if it can be implemented. Again, what we’re saying is, let us not veer away from the issue of drugs.)
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