Tuesday, 06 August 2013 13:32
LIFE’S INSPIRATIONS: “…my people are destroyed from lack of knowledge…” (Hosea 4:6, the Holy Bible).
TRANSPARENCY IN SMUGGLING CASES: If Customs Commissioner Rufino Biazon and the Aquino government are really serious in their campaign against smuggling, they should tell the people the status of each and every smuggling case that the Bureau of Customs had filed with the Department of Justice (DOJ) or before any other office or agency, both under Biazon’s term and under the term of his predecessors.
Biazon and the Aquino government must be transparent, and undertake an accounting of those cases, and disclose their status. And, they must explain what has been happening to those cases—whether the DOJ already started the required preliminary investigation against them, whether smuggling cases had already been filed in court or not at all yet, or why there has been no movement in those cases at all.
And then, if those cases involve corporations or companies, Biazon must also disclose and publicize the names of their owners and officers. Perhaps, Biazon can also disclose the “padrinos” interceding for and in behalf of these corporations or companies, and for and in behalf of their owners and officers as well, even if they happen to be powerful politicians, rich businessmen, or relatives of those in power.
KNOWN SMUGGLERS MUST BE DENIED IMPORT PERMITS: More, Biazon and the Aquino government must no longer allow known smugglers and their dummies, and even those who have been merely charged with smuggling before the DOJ and the courts, to continue importing anything into the country. The idea is to remove from them the very basis of their smuggling activities, which is the license and permit to import goods and materials.
Of course, many will say that this would violate the Constitutional right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty, but then, the Bureau of Customs certainly is in a position to know who are guilty or not of smuggling, and in billions and billions of pesos yet. I am sure Biazon and his officers know who the smugglers are, and who are their patrons abetting their smuggling activities.
The records of the Bureau and of the Department of Finance as well are enough proof to pinpoint smugglers, and, if the government is sincere in its attempt to stop smuggling altogether, it can simply stop issuing permits and licenses for these smugglers to import even just a centavo worth of any good or product. That should stop smuggling once and for all.
SMUGGLERS AS CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTORS: Unfortunately, however, we all know that the Bureau of Customs and the Aquino government will not—or cannot—do all these. Whether we care to admit it or not, most if not all of the known smugglers in this country are the biggest campaign contributors of many politicians, and even the most powerful “padrinos” of people who get appointed to sensitive positions in government.
Allowing smugglers to continue with their criminal acts is but a way to repay them with the favors—financial or otherwise—that have been given to politicians and to those in power. Surely, under the present system of patronage politics in the Philippines, there appears to be no solution to the curse of smuggling hereabouts.
Unless, of course, if our people would learn to humble themselves before God, seek Him through His Bible, and obey His commands all over again. In 2 Chronicles 7:14, God, through the Bible, assures each one of us: “If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray, seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, forgive their sins, and cast away the curses from their land.”
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By Atty. Batas Mauricio
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