MANILA, Philippines – Mend your ways or take a vacation–in jail.
This is the message President Aquino delivered to officials and employees of Bureau of Customs on the day the agency celebrated it’s 110th anniversary on Monday, February 6.
The Chief Executive minced no words in his speech. Dire consequences, he said, will befall those who do not follow the right path (tuwid na daan). Incentives, however, await those who contribute to the improvement of governance in different agencies.
“Subukan po ninyo ako, magkaalaman tayo kung sino po ang mas desididong matupad ang kanilang ambisyon,” Aquino said. (Try me. We will know who is more resolved in achieving his goals.)
Hinting that bad eggs may soon find themselves in jail, Aquino noted planned improvements in the facilities of the Bureau of Corrections. “Yun pong interesadong magbakasyon doon, ginagarantiya ko sa inyo marami po kayong lugar na paglalagyan doon.” (To those interested in taking a vacation there, I guarantee you that there will be space for you there.)
Aquino decried a host of irregularities at the Customs bureau. He particularly noted an incident mentioned by Commissioner Rozzano Rufino “Ruffy” Biazon of cargo containers mysteriously getting lost.
“Hindi ko ho akalain na may pinsan pala si David Copperfield dito sa Pilipinas. Si David Copperfield po kayang ipawala ‘yung Statue of Liberty, nag-umpisa elepante ‘di ba? Eh tayo ho dalawang libong container ang nawala sa SLEX siguro,” he pointed out. (I didn’t realize that David Copperfield has a cousin here in the Philippines. David Copperfield made the statue of Liberty disappear but he started with an elephant, right? In our case, 2 thousand containers reportedly got lost at the SLEX.)
President Aquino said that Customs Commissioner Rozzano Rufino “Ruffy” Biazon and Deputy Commissioner for Intelligence Danilo Lim are under strict orders to go after erring Customs employees. He said the two officials have the support of other agencies of government in going after the corrupt.
He also stressed that corruption is not a victimless crime. “Ulit-ulitin ko lang po, ‘yung bawat paglihis natin sa tuwid na landas, hindi ho libre ‘yan. Mayroon pong napapahamak, ang napapahamak pinangakuan nating lahat paglilingkuran natin tapos ito ang sinusukli natin sa kanila,” Aquino said. (I will repeat it again and again. Every time we digress from the right path, that is not without consequences. There are people who suffer as a result. Those who suffer are those whom we promised we would serve and this is what we give them in return.) – Rappler.com