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Roughly a month ago, this corner broke the news of the imminent changes in the stewardship of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) with incumbent Commissioner Lilia Guillermo’s transfer to the Department of Finance and Deputy Commissioner Romeo Lumagui, Jr. taking her stead.

Well, there you go. Palace has affirmed this with the promotion of Lumagui, who reportedly is aligned with Junior's wife, as the chief steward of the government’s top-revenue generating agency.

Now, this is the intriguing part. Brace now Marites: Guillermo has been left out, unceremoniously. Guillermo, apparently, refused the undersecretary position of Antonette Tiongson, who recently resigned. Tiongson, in charge of revenue generation, was a holderover as she was appointed by Carlos G. Dominguez but was retained by Finance Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno.


From my observation deck, even the utterly outspoken Diokno is tight lipped on the foregoing developments. What gives? Is Diokno losing his touch? The Marites hovering around the DOF along Roxas Blvd. believed that Diokno's luster had dimmed. Should this be so, what now comes with the ambition of Diokno's transfer back to the main complex of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP)? 

Don't be startled. Hold on to your seats as new movements will be coming sooner that we all expect.

Another movement, which for some leaves a bad taste in the mouth, is the transfer of former Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arturo Tugade’s son from Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) to the Land Transportation Office (LTO).

Jose Art Tugade, who goes by the name Jay-Art, was acting general manager of MIAA. I have all the respect for the new LTO chief, but I just see his appointment as him still under the skirt as the saying goes of his father, the former DOTr head honcho.

With Jay-Art’s assumption, the acting LTO Chief Teofilo Guadiz, Jr. was moved to the mother department, DOTr, as assistant secretary for the road sector.

From what I’ve learned after years of covering government offices, a bureau head that is under the supervision of a department is accorded the rank of an undersecretary.

The nagging question is: Isn’t this a bit of a demotion for Guadiz?

Aside, of course, from no longer having his own fiefdom, Guadiz now carries a rank lower. What’s in a rank, what matters is the service rendered to the people and for the people.

Again, I have all the respect for DOTr Secretary Jaime B. Bautista. But from my observation deck, Bautista’s explanation of the movement can be taken to mean in a different context altogether.

I don’t question the capability of the younger Tugade, but, then again, it would have been better, instead for Bautista to have sealed his lips rather than justifying the transfer by saying: “we have come to a conclusion that he (Tugade) is best suited for the very challenging job in the LTO” was a bit ouchie for Guadiz.


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