Remove Commissioner Alberto Lina from the Philippine Bureau of Customs
His Excellency Benigno C. Aquino III,
President of the Republic of the Philippines
Office of the President
1000 Jose P Laurel Sr, San Miguel, Manila, Metro Manila, Philippines
are the collective voice of some of the 2.3 million Filipino OFWs
from around the world.
are writing this petition to ask you to remove Mr. Alberto Lina as
Commissioner of the Bureau of Customs.
the Filipino OFWs felt anguished by Mr. Lina's order to have
Balikbayan boxes opened and inspected arbitrarily. The Balikbayan box has been
synonymous with the term OFW, an iconic symbol of our status as
overseas workers. To us, the Balikbayan box is a stark reminder of
our plight as migrant workers whose purpose is to work abroad to
better our lives and the future of our families. Sending goodies to our
families back home through the Balikbayan box allows us to partly
fulfill our promise to those we left behind to give them a better
life by allowing them to experience now and then life's little
comforts through the goodies inside the box. It also serves to keep
our link with our families back home alive – that we have never forgotten
them and they are always in our minds no matter how many thousands of
miles separate us.
Lina has never been an OFW so he cannot empathize with us. His
callous disregard for the sentiments of the OFWs shown by his sudden
imposition of the order to tamper with the Balikbayan box struck a
raw nerve in all of us and our loved ones back home as well.
all feel that he has singled us OFWs – small fries in the ocean -
while neglecting the sharks and leviathans in the community who have
continually managed to elude the BOC and have flooded our communities
with fake and harmful items while at the same time eluding tax
payment to the government.
President, although you have immediately ordered the revocation of
Mr. Lina's order and for which we are grateful, still it has not
removed the bad feeling in our mouths. You are a Filipino Mr.
President and you are familiar with and have Filipino sentiments. We
the OFWs have been slighted by Mr. Lina and unless he apologizes
personally to the OFW body, our wounded sentiments will not be
assuaged. Either that Mr. President, or you remove him from his post.
We are sure there are a hundred Bert Linas in our country who are
more humane, sensitive and sympathetic to us OFWs who can replace him
Mr. President. You also need not be burdened by a cabinet member
whose respect 2.3 million OFWs have lost.
The Filipino OFWs