Too many 'powerful forces' impact Customs: Lim

By David Dizon, ABS-CBNnews.com

Posted at Jul 24 2013 11:44 AM | Updated as of Jul 25 2013 11:57 AM

MANILA - Why is Danny Lim resigning from the Bureau of Customs? Simply put, there are too many "powerful forces" that are affecting his mandate to capture smugglers and institute reforms in the bureau.

"Alam ninyo sa bureau, talagang napakaraming mga pwersa. Powerful forces na sumasawsaw diyan at nakikialam. Ang sabi ko kay [Executive Secretary Jojo] Ochoa, if you can give me an agency kahit na maliit lang basta ako yung may control, I will deliver," Lim, Customs Deputy Commissioner for Intelligence, told radio dzMM.

Lim tendered his resignation to President Benigno Aquino III on Tuesday, a day after the President scored corrupt Customs officials for allowing the entry of illegal drugs and firearms into the country.

In his resignation letter, Lim, a former brigadier general who fought against the Arroyo administration, said he is resigning because he is "privy to the truths that ring out" in Aquino's State of the Nation Address.

He told radio dzMM that he asked Ochoa at least 6 times to transfer him to a different agency because of the difficulties he is facing in his work.

"Unang-una, talagang hindi naman sa nag-gi-give up tayo or hindi natin kaya pero mahirap talaga magtrabaho lalong-lalo na kung hindi mo kontrolado yung sitwasyon," he said.

Lim said powerful forces would sometimes intervene even before the Customs bureau can make a move.

"Example, meron tayong gagawin, meron tayong i-a -alert, meron tayong huhulihin. Kaaalis mo pa lang andami nang tumatawag, nakikiusap, nag re-request. Yung mga ganyan...so hindi nakakatulong," he said.

He said that some of the requests involve the entry of contraband goods. "Nahihirapan ako sa ganyan," he said.

"Hindi sa hindi maaaring pagbigyan pero alam ninyo, puro napipilitan tayo na kung minsan nagbabalancing act ka diyan e. Kung minsan pag hindi mo pagbibigyan, maaaring sasama ang loob. Magtatampo," he added.

Even worse, he said nasty rumors are being spread against him to cover up the wrongdoing in the bureau.

"Ngayon, dahil may mga tinatamaan, kung minsan iniiba na yung kwento lumalabas, na ikinakalat. Baligtad na. Ikaw na yung may kalokohan. Ganyan sa bureau," he said.

Lim refused to name the "powerful forces" that influence the bureau. He said that in the case of a smuggled rice shipment in Cebu, the bureau is still investigating alleged links between the smugglers and Customs officials.

He also said his health has deteriorated after joining Customs and that he is now taking maintenance medication for his blood pressure.

Lim said that despite the problems, he and Commissioner Ruffy Biazon have accomplished much to clean up the bureau. He said he is still waiting for Malacañang's response to his resignation letter.

"Sabi ko marami talagang problema sa bureau. Yung sitwasyon maraming challenges pero sa kabila ng lahat ng yan nagsisikap tayo na magdeliver. Gawin yung dapat gawin at pinipilit natin na hindi magpapaapekto sa mga yan. Makikita naman natin yan sa mga accomplishments na nagawa na," he said.