Finance usec Sevilla appointed Customs OIC

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Finance Undersecretary John 'Sunny' Sevilla replaces Ruffy Biazon, who resigned this week after being implicated in the multi-billion peso pork barrel scam

CUSTOMS OIC. Finance Undersecretary John Sevilla will take over as officer-in-charge of the Customs bureau effective December 7. Photo taken from the PPP Center website

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Finance Undersecretary John “Sunny” Sevilla has been appointed officer-in-charge of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) following the resignation of Rozzano Rufino “Ruffy” Biazon.

In a statement on Wednesday, December 4, the Department of Finance announced that President Benigno Aquino III tapped Sevilla to head Customs pending the appointment of a new Customs chief. Biazon resigned on Monday, December 2.

Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima said Sevilla is more than capable of reforming BOC given his financial expertise and track record in public service.

“While it is a monumental challenge to fill the shoes left behind by Ruffy Biazon at Customs, we are in full support of the President’s decision to tap Undersecretary Sevilla for the job,” Purisima said.

“Leadership of the Bureau of Customs requires someone who is results-oriented and an expert on economics, international relations, and project implementation. These traits describe Sunny Sevilla perfectly,” he added.

But according to a source, Sevilla was named OIC because the Palace could not decide yet on Biazon’s replacement.

Two or three names were floated, but none of them was Sevilla, the source said.

The source added that Aquino does not want to rush the appointment of a new commissioner given how critical the position is.

DOF said Sevilla’s appointment will take effect on Saturday, December 7.

Sevilla has been serving as Finance undersectrary for Corporate Affairs Group and Privatization since 2010. He held the same post from 2006-2007.

Prior to joining DOF, Sevilla was an investment banker. He worked as executive director at investment bank Goldman Sachs, and associate director and sovereign rater for credit rating agency Standard and Poor’s.

Biazon involved in pork barrel scam?

Biazon quit his post after the Justice department implicated him in the multi-billion peso pork barrel scam.

Biazon, a member of the ruling Liberal Party and former Muntinlupa congressman, is the first party mate of Aquino to be implicated in the pork barrel scam. He is accused of pocketing P1.95 million of his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) during his 2007-2010 term. But Biazon maintained he “did not receive any money from the whistleblowers.”

The scam lawmakers endorsing PDAF to bogus non-governmental organizations of alleged scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles in exchange for hefty kickbacks. – with reports from Cherrie Regalado and Natashya Gutierrez/

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