Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Illegal smuggling reflects a society with a culture of impunity

When Bureau of Customs Chief Ruffy Biazon accepted the offer to become chief of the most graft-filled agency in the Philippines, that offer was a political suicide. Everyone knows that smuggling (just like in the case of immigration) is a centuries-old problem. The system tolerates smuggling. The prime movers and shakers of the system thrive in smuggling. The very economy of this country is dependent on smuggling. And people do not balk against smuggling because most benefits from it.

Even a Christian crusader such as Ruffy Biazon stands no chance of victory against these unscrupulous individuals. Biazon blames the system. Most people see the system only as a human creation and therefore, there is a human solution. The solution is simply, eradicate the present personnel composition and replace them with people whose mindsets are clear to the mission, that is, help this country eradicate the scourge of smuggling.

The only question is--are there such people?

Ask anyone and you"ll find that there is a general concensus and impression about customs. Whenever one mentions customs, they always say that it's an agency that would help poor but wily people from poverty. I remember one tale about a classmate of mine who was so dirt poor when he was in UP. When he graduated from the university and entered Customs, within a year and a half, he managed to save enough for a house and lot and two cars. Wow.

Anyway, smuggling also shows you the perpetuation of a culture of impunity--that there is no big fish being killed outright due to smuggling. I pray for the day when the Lord God would strike those who do smuggling with his thunderbolt.