Friday, November 2, 2018

Newspaper editor and publisher defends Duterte decision to promote Lapeña



Ermin Garcia Jr., a veteran journalist and a supporter of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, took offense when word came out saying that President Duterte was unfair and biased in promoting Bureau of Customs chief Isidro Lapeña to Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), earning him a cabinet position.
Ermin Garcia Jr., President Rodrigo Duterte and former BOC Chief Isidro Lapeña / Composite photos from Facebook, ABS-CBN and Inquirer

Fair and consistent

Garcia's caption of his post was "PDU30 was fair and consistent", saying that President Duterte's move was a smart one. Garcia then started to list down reasons why the move was one that is necessary and smart.

Garcia said that first of all, when the scandal fo the issue of shabu came out, it was firstly unfair towards Lapeña because he was caught unguarded and was out of the country, unable to defend himself from the harsh criticisms that surrounded the issue.
Former BOC Chief Isidro Lapeña / Photo from the Philippine Star

Trusted wrong people

Another thing that Garcia tackled was how Lapeña was not at fault, instead he trusted on the wrong people within the bureau, leading him to committing numerous errors.

But one good thing about Lapeña, Garcia says is that he puts the works of his bureau above the reports of the media. He says that this makes him "the best BOC chief the country ever had", through cleaning out the people who try to bring in drugs towards the country.

Smart move

Garcia also says that this was a smart move for President Duterte to transfer Lapeña to the PDEA, because he is actually an effective and responsible official, only that he trusted in the wrong people thus leading to his downfall.

Read his full post here:

"PDU30 WAS FAIR AND CONSISTENT--

Permit me to repost below my thoughts in response to my friend JB Baylo's post, explaining why Mr. Lapeña had to be relieved then promoted which appeared to be an inconsistent decision on the part of PDU30 in fighting corruption and drugs. 
Former BOC Chief Isidro Lapeña / Photo from the Philippine Star

Jose Bayani Baylon- Here's my take of his situation. 

1. First of all, it's a political appointment that could be ended anytime. Everyone in BOC was aware of that, particular the thieves who are protected by civil service. It was easy to remove him but not them.

2. When you work with thieves, they will always find a way to get past you including stealing your wife, especially if you are affecting their major source of livelihood.

3. His first misstep was to trust his agency's position vs PDEA given evidence before him, i.e. X-ray images, swab tests. He tried to sustain the evidence presented by his staff who already earned his trust. I surmise that these were the same people who helped him deliver billions in revenues, enabling him to meet targets. 

4. The intramural and rivalry in the agency blindsided him. The whistleblower was with rival group and later issued statements to media while he was out of the country.

5. He conceded only after incontrovertible evidence was presented before him and not through media. 

6. He was the best BOC chief the country ever had, effectively neutralizing the smugglers and racketeers that enabled him to turn over customs collections never attained in the past. He made smugglers pay up! 

7. He was transferred from PDEA precisely because of his effective activities vs drugs. 

8. In a sense, it was a solominic decision on PDU30's part. He can't punish a guy who did a good job but made the mistake of trusting the wrong people. That's why in relieving Lapeña, he ordered relief of all who got the latter in a controversial scandal.

Hence, my "nalusutan" and "magaling". I could be wrong."