IN RIGOBERTO Tiglao’s Nov. 15 column, he again attempts to spin events in order to humiliate President Aquino while applauding the previous administration. By comparing data on a country’s export to the Philippines and our own import data from the same country, he comes to the conclusion that smuggling is more rampant now by a factor of 10.
At first glance, the numbers may be convincing. But Tiglao’s contention falls apart when we ask a simple question: Will a corrupt Bureau of Customs (BOC) give the true import data if it is profiting from illicit activities? Of course not. A corrupt BOC will attempt to hide discrepancies between the import and export numbers to erase the evidence of smuggling. Most likely the previous administration’s BOC filed fake reports, tampered with documents or turned a blind eye to misdeclared items—all in collusion with smugglers.
If anything, the more reliable information from the present BOC only reveals how rampant and underreported smuggling must have been before. Lest we forget, the past has abounded with rumors of a major smuggler that had the backing of no less than the former first gentleman. And even the most recent fiasco of smuggled rice from India has the taint of the previous administration, as the broker is a known Arroyo administration ally.
Now that Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has fallen from grace, it is no wonder that these illegal activities are coming to light.