New Customs OIC vows to stop smuggling

By Jay Ruiz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 09 2013 03:40 PM | Updated as of Dec 09 2013 11:41 PM

MANILA – Newly appointed officer-in-charge (OIC) John ‘Sunny’ Sevilla formally assumed the leadership of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) during the flag-raising and turnover rites at the BOC headquarters on Monday.

Last week, President Aquino appointed Sevilla as OIC after former Commissioner Rufino Biazon resigned after he was charged with graft in connection with the the pork barrel scam.

In his speech last week, Biazon said that he had mixed emotions about leaving his post--happy because he will go back to his normal ways, spend more time with his family and live a less stressful life, but at the same time, he is sad for the friends and supporters he will leave behind.

Sevilla thanked the President for the appointment.

He called on fellow Customs officials to be inspired by the victims and volunteers of recent disasters for their “bayanihan” spirit and nationalism as they help each other and the country.

He said the Customs bureau should reform its ways and think of the country and others first, adding that they should live below their means and not accept even a peso of bribe money.

Sevilla also enumerated his 4 goals as OIC: collect proper taxes, stop smuggling, give good service and bring back honor to the BOC, which has been perceived as one of the most corrupt agencies in government.

Before being appointed as OIC, Sevilla served as undersecretary of Corporate Affairs Group & Privatization of the Department of Finance.

He also served as executive director of investment bank Goldman Sachs and associate director and sovereign rater of credit rating agency Standard and Poors before working for government.

Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima and Bureau of Internal Revenue Commissioner Kim Henares attended the turnover rites.

Purisima believes Sevilla will be able to make a difference at the Customs bureau.