OFFICE OF THE SENATE PRESIDENT
AQUILINO “KOKO” PIMENTEL III
Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, in a statement released Monday, November 21, condemned the killings of two senior government officials in the space of less than a week.
Pimentel’s statement followed the killing of BIR Regional Director Jonas Amora, who heads the Makati revenue region of the agency.
“The killing of government officials is never done lightly. When two of them, both from revenue collection agencies, are killed in such a short time, there must be something very sinister involved,” Pimentel said.
Pimentel was also referring to the ambush and slaying last Thursday night, November 17, of Arturo “Art” Lachica, Deputy Commissioner of the Bureau of Customs and head of the BOC’s Internal Administration Group.
The Bureau of Internal Revenue and the Bureau of Customs are two of the country’s top revenue collection agencies.
Pimentel expressed his suspicion that the murders may have something to do with corruption within the agencies.
Pimentel said, “We should not discount the possibility that they were killed due to President Duterte’s ongoing campaign against corruption. If they were silenced by scalawags, we must redouble our efforts to catch the killers and redress the injustice against the families of the victims and against the Filipino people.”
The Bureau of Customs was tagged with a “very bad” rating, with a net satisfaction rating of -72 in the 2016 SWS Survey of Enterprises on Corruption. It was the only agency in the “very bad” category.
The Bureau of Internal Revenue received a “poor” rating, with a net satisfaction rating of -27.
Pimentel said, “As a lawyer and a public servant, I am appalled at how little the law matters to these criminals. The government must put the fear of the law back into their hearts through a thorough investigation that will not spare any ‘untouchables.’”