DILG Secretary Mar Roxas III (left) chats with Senators Grace Poe-Llamanzares, JV Ejercito, and Ferdinand Marcos Jr. during the Senate deliberation on the 2015 budget of the Department of Interior and Local Government on Monday, November 24.  (MNS photo)

DILG Secretary Mar Roxas III (left) chats with Senators Grace Poe-Llamanzares, JV Ejercito, and Ferdinand Marcos Jr. during the Senate deliberation on the 2015 budget of the Department of Interior and Local Government on Monday, November 24. (MNS photo)

MANILA (Mabuhay) – A lawmaker on Thursday challenged resigned Customs chief John Sevilla to name personalities exerting “political pressure” that forced him to quit his post.

Senator  Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. also urged the Department of Justice to investigate Sevilla’s allegation.

Nakakagulat din yan. I think kung sino ang nagpe-pressure sa kanya sabihin niya at anong gusto ng mga taong ito na gawin niya. Nag-resign na rin naman siya… sabihin na niya para ‘di na maulit ang political pressure na kanyang sinasabi,” Marcos told reporters on Thursday.

Sevilla announced his resignation Thursday morning, over a year after his appointment, saying he could no longer stand the “political nature” hounding the Customs.

Also, Marcos said that while he is aware there were people exerting political pressure on the Bureau of Customs, this is the first time he heard that the 2016 elections have something to do with it.

Anong ibig sabihin, may ipinapagawa sa kanya para sa  paghahanda sa eleksyon? What does it mean exactly? That because of the 2016 elections political pressure was exerted on him and by whom?” the senator said.

Dapat e, tutal nabuksan na yung issue ng mga nagpe-pressure sa kanya e, ipagpatuloy na niya, sabihin na niya lahat who are the people involved and what are they pressuring him to do?” Marcos added.

Asked if a Senate inquiry is needed, Marcos said it is not a bad thing to conduct an investigation into the matter but the DOJ should initiate first such probe.

Palagay ko kung sinasabing pressure e, ilegal ang pinapagawa sa kanya, that would be important for the DOJ to investigate… Dapat ang mauna diyan ay ang executive, bakit nagkaganito, bakit mo sinasabi na dahil sa eleksyon ay nagka-pressure sa iyo, ipaliwanag niya yun,” Marcos said.

Senator Bam Aquino, for his part, said the government lost an outstanding public servant with the resignation of Sevilla.

“His resignation is unfortunate since we are seeing the fruits of the reforms that he started within the agency, especially against smuggling and collection efficiency,” Bam Aquino said in a press statement.

He said it is imperative that the next commissioner will continue the reforms initiated by Commissioner Sevilla.

“Let us fast-track the passage of the Customs and Tariff Modernization Act to modernize and systematize the processes, making it more efficient and transparent,” he added.

Nitong huling mga linggo, may nakakausap akong mga kaibigan sa Customs, lahat kami nag-a-agree na ramdam na ramdam ngayon na political ang atmosphere [doon]… May political factors na gumagalaw in the background,” he said. (MNS)