FAST FACTS: Changing leaders at the Bureau of Customs

Reynaldo Santos Jr
FAST FACTS: Changing leaders at the Bureau of Customs
Only Fidel V. Ramos keeps one Customs commissioner throughout his term – Guillermo Parayno Jr

MANILA, Philippines – Former Bureau of Customs (BOC) Commissioner John “Sunny” Sevilla announced on Thursday, April 23, his resignation, ending his term which began in December 2013.

Sevilla is the third person to vacate the post under the Aquino administration. Before him, two other officials were appointed to the same position, but then left for various reasons: Angelito Alvarez in 2011, and Rozanno Rufino Biazon in 2013.

Leadership changes are not new to the BOC, which has seen different commissioners under a single administration. Reasons for this ever-shifting leadership include politics and reported bad performance due to continuing smuggling and corruption in the bureau. 

Thus far, both Aquino and his mother, former president Corazon Aquino, changed BOC chiefs thrice during their terms. Former president and now Manila mayor Joseph Estrada changed his officials twice.

For former president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, from the time she assumed office in 2001 and before being elected in 2004, she changed BOC chiefs only once. But by the time she was already elected, she changed the BOC leadership 4 times.

It was only former president Fidel V. Ramos who kept one BOC commissioner throughout his term. This makes his BOC chief – Guillermo Parayno Jr – the longest serving chief since 1986.

Here’s a list of the appointed BOC heads since 1986, when democracy was restored. Our list includes when they were elected, and where known, reasons for their departure.

Corazon Aquino’s term:

1986-1987: Wigberto E. Tañada

  • Ran (and won) in the 1987 senatorial elections

1987-1987: Alexander A. Padilla
1987-1991: Salvador M. Mison
1991-1992: Tomas V. Apacible

  • Replaced by the new administration

Fidel Ramos’ term:

1992-1998: Guillermo L. Parayno Jr

  • Replaced by the new administration

Joseph Estrada’s term:

1998-1998: Pedro C. Mendoza Jr

  • Terminated after a series of complaints against him, the last being a gun-poking incident at the Manila Hotel.

1998-1999: Nelson A. Tan

1999-2001: Renato A. Ampil

  • Replaced by the new administration

Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s term:

2001-2002: Titus B. Villanueva

2002-2004: Antonio M. Bernardo

2004-2005: George M. Jereos

  • Retired in February 2005 after reaching the age of 65.

2005-2005: Alberto D. Lina

2005-2005: Alexander M. Arevalo

2006-2010: Napoleon Morales

  • Replaced by the new administration

Benigno Aquino III’s term:

2010-2011: Angelito A. Alvarez

  • Resigned amid talks of Aquino wanting to appoint losing senatorial candidate Rufino Biazon to the commission.

2011-2013: Rozanno Rufino B. Biazon

2013-2015: John P. Sevilla

  • Resigned after announcing he won’t allow the agency to be used for campaign fundraising for the 2016 elections. He claims his resignation was triggered by “politicking” in the bureau.

Alberto Lina returns as the new customs chief–

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