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Metro Opinion

What’s in a name

account_balanceMetro Opinion account_circleLeigh Bellosillo chat_bubble_outline0 Comments

The government’s top two revenue-generating agencies, the Bureau of Customs (BoC) and the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), are now in the hands of relatively younger blood.

I have reservations on the new appointee. I support the idea of pumping younger blood in both the BoC and BIR who would infuse more adrenalin in collection performance as the government needs more revenues to finance important infrastructure projects.

The newest kid on the block to join Junior’s official family, Bienvenido Rubio as the BoC commissioner, came as no surprise, though to some yes, because as early as December last year, there were rumours going around the arrastre circle that Yogi Felimon Ruiz would soon be replaced.


From my view deck, even Finance Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno knew about it already, unlike in the changing of the guards at the BIR in mid-November last year when he reportedly sulked.

Remember tax lawyer Romeo “Jun” Lumagui Jr. replaced Lilia Guillermo, who left her lucrative position as assistant governor and chief information officer of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).

Guillermo is a good soldier when Diokno asked her to join him on the other side of the border of the BSP complex, now nothing has been heard of her.

Although Lumagui and Rubio have been with their respective bureaus prior to being appointed as commissioners, both have one thing in common: they are close to the appointing power.

Aside from being a “ka-Batac,” like NEDA Secretary Arsenio Balisacan, Rubio is apparently related to Major Rubio, one of the closest lieutenants of the deposed Philippine leader and the father of Junior.

It was explained to me that the older Rubio was the “trusted one,” and the closest relative of the ousted leader.

You may ask, so what’s in a name? Allow me to fill you in: the R in Mariano R. Marcos’ name, the grandfather of Junior, is Rubio. Therefore, the new BoC commissioner is as my friend would always say, “kamag-anak incorporated.”

And as we all know by now, Lumagui’s wife Carmela was with M & Associates, Junior’s wife – Liza Araneta’s law firm. The Lumagui couple were staunch supporters and active during the campaign. More importantly, Junior and Liza were the “ninong and ninang” in their wedding sometime four years ago.

But, I give to Rubio, who climbed the government ladder as Special Agent.  His  first assignment was when he joined the bureau 22 years ago. Still, as my balikbayan friend Rosemarie quipped: It's not what you know, it’s whom you know.

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