But Task Force needed, as in Boracay
I’M not exaggerating with the title of this piece.
The Bureau of Customs ever since Corazon Aquino captured power in 1986 has become the country’s Augean stables of the Hercules legend, so filled with the feces of corruption of decades that it looked impossible to clean up.
Because Cory Aquino appointed a known communist sympathizer as Customs commissioner, the New People’s Army managed to smuggle in AK-47s during that time. During her son Benigno Aquino 3rd’s regime, and with the flood of imports from China, the value of smuggled goods totaled an astronomical P4 trillion, four times that in the previous Gloria Macapagal administration. (Google my column in 2015: “Smuggling utterly out of control under Aquino regime: P4 trillion in last five years.”)
That the two military men that President Duterte trusted to clean up Customs — Nicanor Faeldon and Isidro Lapeña — failed in their marching orders may have its silver lining. Because of it, Duterte blew his top and announced that he would order the military to take over the graft-ridden bureau.
That may be the equivalent of Hercules in that legend building trenches so that water from a nearby river flowed into the shit-filled stables to clean them out in one day.
In their usual knee-jerk reaction to Duterte’s reform initiatives (as when Bam Aquino and Rissa Hontiveros shrieked that Boracay cannot just be closed down), the Yellows are now shouting that it is unconstitutional to order the military to run Customs.
Haven’t they heard of the concept called “secondment,” when men in uniform are assigned to civilian tasks on a temporary basis without giving up their military posts? It has been routine for military and police officers to be seconded to the Office of the President (and even to other departments) as aides to the president.
Such secondment made headline news recently when Duterte appointed Police Senior Inspector Sofia Loren Deliu, a former beauty pageant contestant, as aide-de-camp to take over the routine jobs of his Special Assistant Christopher Go, who have resigned to run for senator. That is unconstitutional? (more…)