MANILA - Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago on Tuesday defended Bureau of Customs chier Ruffy Biazon amid calls for him to resign because of rampant oil smuggling.
Santiago said it is not Biazon's fault that smuggling continues unabated, because it has been there for a long time.
She pointed out that Biazon is just beginning to learn the ropes in the bureau.
"In my experience in the bureaucracy, you need about a year or two to be familiar with how things work there. Now you're in a position to do something, so you should not be removed," Santiago told reporters.
Santiago suspects that people affected by Biazon's reforms are just getting back at him. "I can see clearly that Mr. Biazon may have stepped on very powerful toes, but also he is the object of envy of the crooks," she said.
The senator said removing Biazon will not eliminate smuggling.
"For me, it's very unfair to call for the head of a person just because a fact long known and accepted by our community is now being given prominence," she said.
"Talagang malaking problema ang smuggling, but it cannot be solved by changing the commissioner, lalo na 'pag ang ibang tao gustong maging commissioner."