Short notes I: Dear Customs Commissioner Ruffy Biazon

I was floored by your statement on politicians who protect corrupt customs employees.

“We have come across situations wherein the corrupt ones have the audacity because they know some people are backing them up. One of my proposals is to insulate Customs from political influence. How do we do that? We come up with a policy or a law prohibiting recommendations for employment in the bureau.”

Seriously? Don’t you know that the only two people who can order you to do anything relating to your job are the Finance secretary and the President? Anyway, don’t bother me with why you can’t do your job. You are being paid to perform and not to make excuses.

But since the president is willing to give you one more chance… here’s what you can do to restore our confidence in you.

Take the twenty or fifty most powerful customs men, the ones with the toughest political and/or religious backers, and fire them.

However, if for some legal reason you cannot just fire them – because there are a lot of crooked lawyers and justices with TRO powers out there – then take those twenty or fifty customs lords out of their present positions, assign them to desks inside your office, make them cut paper dolls all day everyday and have them mail the dolls to their influential backers. Show them who is the meanest bastard in customs. Remember, in the position you hold, it is better to be feared than loved.

Manuel Buencamino

Buencamino was a weekly columnist for Today and Business Mirror. He has also written articles in other publications like Malaya, Newsbreak, "Yellow Pad" in Business World, and "Talk of the Town" in the Inquirer. He is currently with Interaksyon, the news site of TV5. MB blogged for Filipino Voices, blogs for ProPinoy and maintains a blog, Uniffors.com. Game-changers for him, as far as music goes, are Monk, Miles, Jimi, and Santana.