MANILA , Philippines — Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez on Friday acknowledged endorsing the appointment to a higher post of a Bureau of Customs (BOC) officer but said it was “not lobbying.”
He also denied the allegations of lawyer Mandy Anderson, chief of staff of BOC chief Nicanor Faeldon, that she was being pressured to accept his endorsement of Sandy Dingcong Sacluti and that the Speaker’s camp was threatening to “give her hell.”
“Guni-guni lang niya iyon [It was just a figment of her imagination],” Alvarez said.
“‘Wag tayong mawala sa focus, drug smuggling ang talagang issue rito [We shouldn’t be out of focus, the issue here is drug smuggling]” he added, referring to the House of Representatives’ inquiry into the BOCs failure to stop the entry into the country of P6.5 billion worth of shabu.
A letter from the Speaker to Faeldon dated May 15, 2017 recommended the appointment of Sacluti as Customs Operation Officer V at the Formal Entry Division of the Port of Manila. Sacluti currently holds the same post but in acting capacity.
In a congressional hearing Wednesday, lawmakers grilled Anderson for calling Alvarez an “imbecile” in her social media account in relation to the Speaker’s plan to abolish the Court of Appeals.
Anderson said she had a spat with Alvarez over her refusal to process the promotion of an officer being endorsed by the House leader. She said the said officer lacked the qualifications.