Smugglers, beware!

BEFORE proceeding, here’s extending our condolences to the family and friends of photojournalist Rudy Rabulan and Adam Moraleta.

The two were both active members of the National Press Club (NPC) and we would certainly miss their support and company.

But whereas, Rudy succumbed to illness, Adam was shot dead last June 6 by two still unidentified gunmen near his house in Bgy. Holy Spirit, Quezon City, an incident that has baffled his friends in the media.

As far as we know, Adam is not the type of person who would earn the enmity of powerful figures enough for them to hire contract killers to eliminate him for good, which is why his killing came quite a shock to those who know him.

Nevertheless, we are confident that similar to the resolution of two previous NPC members who were also killed by paid assassins—Ruby Garcia in 2014 and Jun Briones in 2017, the murder of Adam would also be solved by the Presidential Task Force on Media Security.

For unlike other self-claiming ‘media organizations’ who are content to denounce any violence against members of the press, the NPC not only denounces such act but also more importantly, also works closely with the authorities to help solve cases of media killings.

Upang maresolba ang mga karahasan sa hanay ng media, hindi sapat na gawin itong “propaganda” laban sa gobyerno at mga awtoridad (at gawing dahilan upang makapangalap ng kuwarta sa ibang bansa, tama ba, NUJP, CMFR, PCIJ, Rappler at Vera Files).

Sa ganitong mga pagkakataon, hindi sapat ang “ingay.” Ang kailangan ay makipagtulungan upang mabigyan sila ng hustisya.

***

But if there are sad news, there also good news. And on this, here’s our noisiest “Congratulations!” to NPC honorary and lifetime member, ‘Kuya’ Daniel Razon of UNTV/Ang Dating Daan.

From the social media, I got to learn that Kuya Daniel was recently conferred a “PhD” (Doctor of Humanities, Honoris Causa) by the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP), for his many contributions in the field of public service and charitable works.

Indeed, this is an award that Kuya Daniel rightfully deserves and the PUP should also be commended for giving this award to someone who has worked tirelessly in giving aid and comfort to the less fortunate of our society.

And as an NPC member, what more can I add here except to say that, ‘We are very proud of you, Kuya Daniel! Mabuhay ka!

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Determined to “teach” erring importers and customs brokers a lesson they surely will never forget, Comm. Jagger Guerrero is not going to follow the practice of his predecessors of allowing those caught for smuggling to have their customs accreditation “restored,” even if temporarily, so that their other (incoming) “clean” shipments could be processed for release.

Indeed, in previous instances, yours truly was among those greatly amused to learn that so-and-so broker or trader was allowed to have his/her other shipments released days or weeks after the BOC announced, with much public funfare, that their customs accreditation or license, was “cancelled” or “revoked” due to smuggling.

This being the case, waterfront players, under previous administrations, are actually not unduly worried that after being caught for smuggling, their “happy days” of illicit activities have ended with the “cancellation” of their customs accreditation.

Kahit palaging “nahuhuli” dahil sa smuggling, “nakatawa” pa ang mga diyaske, hehehe, ayy, huhuhu! At dahil “napagbigyan” ang “pakiusap,” alam na natin ang nangyari—”nagkalagayan” hindi ba, dear readers, hehehe!

Translation? If smugglers can have their customs license restored despite repeated apprehensions, then how to describe the government’s campaign against smuggling but a “farce?”

But this time, yours truly was assured that Comm. Jagger is serious in asking, nay, forcing, stakeholders to comply with the law and to remain as “good citizens” or face the full consequence of their “indiscretion”—permanent cancellation of their customs accreditation without any possibility of it being “restored.”

Over this decision, I can only applaud Comm. Jagger. For if this happens, as I am assured it’s going to happen, he would be making another milestone in BOC history, despite only being on the job for less than 8 months now.

Ngayon lang kasi mangyayari na talagang “matuturuan” ng “leksyon” ang mga ismagler sa Aduana!

And the same goes too for those customs brokers who also want to make money as fast as they can by colluding with smugglers. They, too, are up for a rude surprise.

For aside from losing their customs accreditation, they can also kiss their PRC (Professional Regulation Commission) license goodbye!

Comm. Rey Leonardo Guerrero may be a soft-spoken man who can also smile easily on hearing a lousy joke.

But make no mistake about it, dear readers. This man has balls made of steel. You can joke with him but certainly, you don’t want to mess with him so, smugglers, beware!

Abangan!