Palace defends decision to keep Biazon as Customs chief

Malacañang on Tuesday defended President Benigno Aquino III's decision not to accept Customs Commissioner Ruffy Biazon's resignation despite the President's negative comments about the bureau on his State of the Nation Address (SONA).

"As Commissioner Biazon had already shared on his Twitter account yesterday, the President’s response that the confidence remains, as both gentlemen know the challenges and as well as the limitations that are being faced by... Biazon in the Bureau of Customs, and that the confidence in the commissioner remains," deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said at a press briefing.

The Bureau of Customs (BOC) was one of the three government agencies scolded by Aquino during his fourth SONA for supposed mediocre work. The others were the Bureau of Immigration and the National Irrigation Administration.

Right after the SONA, Biazon, on his Twitter account, said he offered his resignation to Aquino but that the President said his confidence in him "remains the same."

The heads of the other agencies that were publicly berated by the President had either resigned or had not been reappointed.

Special case

Valte said Biazon is a special case because of the state of the BOC. "Katulad ‘nung sinabi nga niya kay Commissioner Biazon, naiintindihan po ng Pangulo ‘yung mga hinaharap doon, ‘yung mga repormang kailangang gawin, given his mandate," she said.

"Nag-iisang tao lang din po siya (Biazon) at, given that the problem in Customs is not simple—the corruption is entrenched, nagiging endemic, nagiging systemic na po doon—ito po ‘yung mga pagkakataong kailangang ibigay para naman ho magawa ‘nung tao ‘yung kanyang mandato," she added.

Valte said Biazon is already implementing measures within the BOC but that he was not "at liberty to discuss" them.


"Alam na rin po ‘yon ni Commissioner Biazon kung ano ‘yung the next—kung ano ‘yung mga susunod na hakbang na dapat pong gawin at, kung napakinggan po natin ‘yung sinabi ng Pangulo kanina, it is properly categorized as this is the shot across the bow already," she said.

Biazon is the son of former senator and incumbent Muntinlupa Rep. Rodolfo Biazon, a retired Marine official who was appointed military chief during the term of Aquino's mother, the late President Corazon Aquino. — Kimberly Jane Tan/KBK, GMA News

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