Jul 232013
Justice Secretary Leila de Lima found nothing wrong with President Benigno Aquino III publicly berating officials of three government agencies during his State of the Nation Address (SONA).

In his speech, Aquino blasted the Bureau of Immigration, Bureau of Customs, and the National Irrigation Authority, saying corrupt officials in these agencies have “makapal na mukha.”

“Tama lang iyong isapubliko ni Presidente iyong kanyang frustration at galit sa mga ahensiya na iyon na nasa negative list,” De Lima said on Tuesday.,

“Tama lang iyong ‘naming and shaming’ kasi mukhang hindi nga sila natatablan kahit nagfa-file tayo ng mga kaso, mayroong mga administratively charged, mayroon din mga criminally charged,” she added.

De Lima noted even if penalties had been handed down on some officials, corruption remains in these government agencies.

Aquino rebuked the Immigration bureau for the escape of high-profile individuals including murder suspect and former Palawan Gov. Joel Reyes and a South Korean national wanted for large-scale investment scam.

The President, meanwhile, criticized the NIA’s “make-do” culture, saying the agency merely rehabilitates existing irrigation systems instead of laying down new ones.

Over at the Customs bureau, Aquino said officials seemed to be “nagpapaligsahan sa kapalpakan” in letting smuggled goods, firearms, and illegal drugs enter the Philippines.

Customs chief Ruffy Biazon had offered to resign after Aquino’s SONA, but the latter rejected his offer of resignation. — DVM, GMA News

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