President Benigno Aquino drive-out Corrupt and inefficient department Heads

President Benigno Aquino’s serious drive against corruption in the country makes the corrupt, ineffective, and inefficient department head and commissioners scampered from their office by getting suicide for shame of tolerating corruptions or resigning of office to avoid the continuous digging up of their corruptions acts and failures in serving the country. 

This is first time to happen in the country. President Benigno Aquino is very serious in his word to eliminate the corruption and clean all departments to give way the “saintful but not innocent” of their works. Eliminating corrupt officials is the way to alleviate poverty in the country. This is his action for his promised to make the country a progressive and clean government.

Overhauling the department offices and removing corrupt heads are like removing the lice and parasites sucking the blood of our tanned pet.  Corrupt department heads are synonyms of lice and parasites; they suck the blood of the host or they steal the money in the government coffer.  This is the way for a clean government. See the source

Among the famous government officials who were drive-out for the PNOY corruption drive are the following;

·        Angelo Tomas Reyes – Former AFP Chief of Staff (Committed suicide)

·        Merciditas Gutierrez – Head of the Philippine powerful Ombudsman Office (resigned)

·        Jose de Jesus + 3 undersecretaries of the DOTC

·        Angelito Alvarez - Bureau of Customs

·        Guillermo Parayno - BIR commissioner

·        And many others

A revamp is set to sweep the Bureau of Customs (BOC) “very soon” with President Aquino declaring his wish for a leadership that “is knowledgeable about the system but untainted.”

“You will get that (revamp) not that soon, but very soon, once we finish it. That is something, that is a perpetual topic between the secretary of finance (Cesar Purisima) and myself,” Aquino told reporters here on Wednesday.

At the Department of Transportation and Communications, three undersecretaries have also tendered their resignations alongside DOTC Secretary Jose de Jesus, who has quit effective July 1.

Aquino concluded his two-day official visit here last Thursday.

When asked if Customs Commissioner Angelito Alvarez is on the way out, Aquino replied: “Kaya nga sabi ko (That’s why I said there’s need for) evaluation. Then we will vet. That function is one of the hardest positions to fill.”

The President revealed his revamp plans for the BOC as De Jesus confirmed his resignation.

Earlier in Davao City, Aquino voiced his dissatisfaction over the BOC’s performance in the wake of the discovery of questionable activities in Mindanao, particularly those involving Filipino-American Lynard Allan Bigcas.

“You’d want to get somebody who is saintly but not innocent,” Aquino said.

He acknowledged the “problem of (guarding) 7,100 islands and 6,000 nautical miles of coastline.”

He said something was amiss when the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and not the BOC raided shops selling smuggled goods at 168 Mall in Divisoria.

“I don’t want to get into an argument with the commissioner. I’ll give you an example, 168 was raided, but who conducted the raid? The BIR,” he said. 168 is a mall in downtown Manila that sells very cheap goods, mostly from China.

“Why did it take the BIR to do the investigation? And not everything was covered because the only thing checked was if they were registered. Was it reported properly? What about the sourcing of all the items? And then there are a lot of others,” Aquino said.

“There are allegations about 168. There are a lot of other issues, but this is the subject of an ongoing evaluation and investigation. If I start telling you then it makes the job of investigating and evaluating that much harder,” he stressed.

Alvarez and Purisima, along with former BIR commissioner Guillermo Parayno, are facing graft charges before the Office of the Ombudsman for their failure or unwillingness to eliminate smuggling.

In an eight-page complaint, BOC employees complained that rampant smuggling has persisted despite the administration’s much touted campaign against corruption.

The complainants said the trio “wittingly tolerated” for instance the sale of ukay-ukay or used clothes in violation of Republic Act 4653 “that prohibits commercial importation of used clothing and related textile goods.”

They also accused the officials of having “consented openly” to bringing in some 2,500 non-Customs personnel to perform some official functions in violation of the Civil Service Law.

No confirmation

Meanwhile, Malacañang neither confirmed nor denied yesterday that it was eyeing former senator Manuel Roxas II as De Jesus’ replacement at the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC).

Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said in a press briefing that it would be best to let President Aquino make the announcement.

But presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said Roxas would be a Malacañang official and not necessarily secretary of the DOTC.

He said Roxas had always been considered as someone who would work within the Palace and had in fact met with Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr. on Wednesday, two days after De Jesus resigned.

Lacierda said Ochoa and Roxas talked to make sure there would be no overlapping of functions.

“My understanding was that it was a smooth meeting and we’re just going to finalize the administrative order,” Lacierda said.

Lacierda quoted Roxas as saying that “it was a good meeting.”

“My understanding is that he will be working in the Palace but as to the designation of the chief of staff, I think that is also being worked out. I’m not sure if he will be properly called the chief of staff. There might be a designation but definitely it will be of Cabinet rank,” Lacierda said.

“My understanding is something along the lines of a presidential adviser,” he said.

Lacierda also said De Jesus’ resignation had nothing to do with the case of Land Transportation Office chief Assistant Secretary Virginia Torres.

“We know that she took a leave of absence, but we do not know for sure when she will be coming back,” Lacierda said.

De Jesus was reportedly against retaining Torres, a shooting buddy of the President.

“As far as I know there was no administrative sanction against her (Torres) so there was no recommendation of any sort against her, she just took a leave of absence,” Lacierda said.

He said the President asked De Jesus to finish the assessment on Stradcom Corp., which filed a case against Torres for nonpayment of its services. Stradcom provides information technology services and maintains the LTO’s database for motor vehicle registration and driver’s license holders.

There are two sides to the story on Roxas being eyed for the DOTC top post. One was that Roxas personally wanted the DOTC position while the other was that Ochoa, who is from a rival faction, would prefer to have Roxas out of the Palace.

Usecs, assec quit

De Jesus’ resignation, meanwhile, prompted his three undersecretaries and an assistant secretary to file their own resignations, also effective July 1. Assistant Secretary for Legal Affairs Raquel Desiderio resigned as LTO officer-in-charge.

 

Dante Velasco, Ruben Reinoso Jr., and Glicerio Sicat said they decided to resign because they were appointees of De Jesus.

Lacierda said it was understandable for the three to resign.

“That is natural for them to clear the desk for the next DOTC secretary. But they will not resign right away; maybe they orient the new DOTC secretary on what is being done there. But that’s normally a courtesy given to the new secretary to install his own people,” Lacierda said. “It’s expected and it’s normal.”

Velasco, undersecretary for Road Transport, Public Information, Management Information Systems and head of the DOTC Action Center, said that he would be transferring to Malacañang, where he has been helping out in the Office of the Executive Secretary for two months already.

Reinoso, undersecretary for Planning and Project Management, said that he would return to the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) where he was assistant director-general.

Sicat, undersecretary for Civil Aviation and Rail Transport, said that he would go back to retirement.

The three officials revealed their decisions to resign in a press briefing yesterday at the DOTC head office at the Columbia Tower in Mandaluyong City, which was supposed to be the venue where De Jesus would face media for the first time to speak about his reasons for resigning. De Jesus, however, was a no-show at the press briefing. Velasco said that De Jesus was busy completing an accomplishment report on his one-year stint at DOTC.

In a statement, De Jesus said he had offered to serve in the administration for only a year.

“This is not a spur of the moment move. It took me some time evaluating my priorities, and I feel that my completion of one full year of service in DOTC is the right time to start moving on,” De Jesus said.

“Thus, I have chosen - and the President agreed - June 30 as the effectivity date of my resignation,” he said.

“Let me declare that my relationship with the Aquino family remains strong and durable as ever. My loyalty to and friendship with the family cannot be shaken. No one can take that away from me,” De Jesus said.

Meanwhile, Clean Air Advocates and the Private Emission Testing Centers Operators Association (PETCOA) said De Jesus’ resignation could pave the way for genuine changes at the LTO.

“We certainly appreciate the wisdom behind the decision of President Noynoy to accept the resignation of Secretary De Jesus,” Tony Halili, president of PETCOA, said.

He added that aside from advanced age, De Jesus has shown signs of not being firm enough to stand up to big interest groups.

“Secretary De Jesus has shown on several occasions that his decisions could be influenced by outside pressures, such as his preference and subservience to the wills and whims of a certain technology firm,” Halili said. He did not elaborate.

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