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More Customs collectors resign, retire amid agency revamp – Biazon

Customs Commissioner Raffy Biazon as he inspects the submarine and Ducati motorcycle worth P19 million from Korea by the operatives of the Manila International Container Port (MICP) in Tondo, Manila on Friday, July 26,2013.(MNS photo)

Customs Commissioner Raffy Biazon as he inspects the submarine and Ducati motorcycle worth P19 million from Korea by the operatives of the Manila International Container Port (MICP) in Tondo, Manila on Friday, July 26,2013.(MNS photo)

MANILA  (Mabuhay) — Amid a revamp in the agency infamous for corruption, Bureau of Customs (BOC) Commissioner Ruffy Biazon said more Customs collectors have resigned or availed of an early retirement.

Biazon confirmed that some collectors have tendered their resignation or opted for an early retirement as a cleanup in the bureau continues after President Benigno Aquino III scored the BOC at his State of the Nation Address last July 22 for failing to address rampant smuggling.

Biazon, however, declined to name the collectors resigning or retiring as he has yet to receive copies of their resignation or retirement letters.

Meanwhile, a highly-placed source from the BOC said Ninoy Aquino International Airport collector Carlos So, Clark collector Ronnie Silvestre, and Zamboanga collector John Tan have availed of an early retirement.

Likewise, Rogel Gatchalian, head of the Port of Manila, has resigned Wednesday, saying he wanted to give Aquino a free hand to reform the bureau.

Gatchalian, who is tagged as one of the bureau’s “Three Kings,” is one of 27 Customs collectors whom Biazon ordered transferred to the Customs Policy Research Office (CPRO) under the Department of Finance.

Gatchalian said in a telephone interview that copies of his resignation letter were sent to the President, to Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima, and to Biazon.

“Actually, irrevocable resignation (‘yun). Una, to give the President a free hand to reorganize the bureau. Second, I just want to show na hindi ako kapit-tuko, and third, nakalagay din dun to show my sincerity in supporting the reform agenda of the President,” he said. (MNS)

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