Aquino undecided on Lim's resignation
MANILA, Philippines - Another Bureau of Customs (BOC) official tenders his resignation following the scathing criticism of the agency by President Benigno Aquino III in his State of the Nation Address (SONA) , but Aquino has yet to act on it.
Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda on Wednesday, July 24, confirmed that Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa received the resignation letter of BOC Deputy Commissioner for Intelligence Danny Lim, but said the President has not yet decided on it.
"We will just confirm that the Office of the Executive Secretary received the letter, but we have no word yet as to the action taken by the President. So we will announce any news as soon as we get word from the Palace," he said.
Lacierda said Ochoa's office has yet to receive the resignation letter of Deputy Commissioner for Internal Administration Group Juan Lorenzo Tañada who is also said to have submitted his resignation.
On Tuesday, July 23, Lim told Rappler he has tried to resign 6 times in the 22 months that he's been in office. Six times Ochoa rejected it, he said. He said the customs bureau is "tough" given the "various external forces beyond your control."
Lacierda said the Palace would welcome names and specifics of "external forces," especially following BOC Commissioner Ruffy Biazon's statements that political backers worsen corruption in the agency. Biazon also offered to resign a day earlier, immediately after the SONA.
In his address, Aquino called out the BOC along with the Bureau of Immigration, and the National Irrigation Authority for corruption and ineptness.
“Saan po kayo kumukuha ng kapal ng mukha, kayong mga nasa [tiwaling] ahensiyang ito?” the President said in his SONA on Monday. (I wonder, you who are in these corrupt agencies, where do you get the gall?)
Lacierda showed little concern about the consecutive resignations, saying "how the individual officials concerned would respond to the speech of the President, that is not something we are in control of."
But he gave assurances reforms have already been discussed and will be implemented in the agency, although he refused to give details or a timetable.
"What we’re saying is that the reform measures will be implemented. Some of them have been started. The President’s speech was a stinging rebuke to the Customs as an institution and, therefore, whatever reforms we will be implementing, will be to solve the systemic, endemic, entrenched corruption within Customs," he said. - Rappler.com