TWO things are happening on the eve of the unprecedented visit of China Pres. Xi Jinping. There is a perceptible attempt of the western press and its clones in Southeast Asia and the Philippines to demonize China’s foreign policies and assault on the integrity of some of the Cabinet members of the President and Pres. Rodrigo R. Duterte himself.
The Coalition Against Corruption struck straight into the jugular of the Duterte administration by asking for the resignation of Finance Sec. Carlos “Sonny” Dominguez for his alleged silence on the smuggling of drugs through the Bureau of Customs. They also cited Secretary Dominguez for being “unconcerned” about the corruption in BOC and the Bureau of Internal Revenue.
Excuse me. CAC seems to be impervious to the reforms instituted by the Finance head from day one Dominguez assumed as head of those two rotten agencies. Makati Business Club, which is the chief convenor of CAC, seemed to stonewall the fact that BOC and BIR were consistently under performing for decades on account of the lackadaisical and loose management and supervision of the previous Finance heads and administrations. Let’s face it. Both BIR and the BOC under the watch of Sonny have been consistently heating their collection performance. As the proverb say, “The proof of the pudding is in the eating”.
CAC, in issuing its statement, did not even mention who, among its members called for the resignation of Dominguez. The intensified tax collection drive of BIR and BOC must be hurting the members of Makati Business Club they want to cripple the Duterte government by asking for the head of Dominguez. True, huge shipment of shabu slipped thru BOC, but that is a different story. It is patently a fishy work of some CAC members to drag Dominguez into the fiasco and impute that he condoned what happened just because he was silent. How sure are they that Sonny was not seething mad?
It’s myopic of CAC to expect Secretary Dominguez to spend his time and express in public his outrage over what happened in BOC. The Finance chief is attending to many other important problems and opportunities than to focus on the investigation of shabu contraband. He manages things by objective. The probe had started by various investigating agencies to include the Senate, so I do not think that Sonny will allow himself to be shackled by the issue.
What a timing this Makati Business cum CAC clique to call for Dominguez’ resignation. His detractors knew that China President Xi Jinping is arriving and they are aware that much of what could be the agenda in this historic visit is about finance and investment. He just played host to China Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Davao and for certain he and Teddy Locsin are finalizing the agenda of Xi’s visit. If this is the way to get back at Sonny for demanding from MBC to pay correct taxes, then I do not think this will wash.