Biazon admits lapse for ignoring query on pork barrel use

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Tuesday, December 3, 2013

MANILA (Updated, 10:21 a.m.) - Outgoing Customs Commissioner Ruffy Biazon said he failed to respond to a query by the Commission on Audit (COA) regarding his utilization of the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) because he was overwhelmed by a lot of work.

In September 2011, COA Assistant Commissioner Arcadio Cuenco Jr. asked him in a letter to confirm his signatures appearing on various documents submitted to the Technology Resource Center (TRC) by the Philippine Social Development Foundation, Inc. (PSFI), which implemented his livelihood projects.

Biazon, then a newly-minted BOC head, did not reply to the letter as he denied on Monday that he pocketed P1.95 million from ghost projects of the NGO controlled by businesswoman Janet Napoles.

He could not even remember if he chose PSDFI as one of the implementers of his projects when he was congressman of Muntinlupa City in 2007. Biazon said he has to check his records because it has been more than three years since he left Congress.

Biazon decided to vacate his post by Friday after the National Bureau of Investigation filed charges against him and 33 others before the Office of the Ombudsman for alleged ill-gotten wealth. [Read story here]

He said he wanted to shield his family, especially his children, and President Benigno Aquino III from pressure and criticism if he chose to stay on his post.

Biazon previously offered to quit from the BOC when Aquino berated the bureau in his State of the Nation Address last July for apparently losing the battle against smuggling.

Aquino rejected his courtesy resignation. (Sunnex)

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