MANILA — A customs official who got a tongue-lashing from lawmakers for calling Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez an “imbecile” in a Facebook post claimed that she did so because the Speaker had tried to use his influence to get an unqualified person promoted at the Bureau of Customs (BOC).
Lawyer Mandy Anderson, chief-of-staff of Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon, said her beef with Alvarez occurred a few months ago when the latter had tried, through an intermediary, to force a promotion in the bureau.
In an interview on dzMM, Anderson did not identify the person the Speaker wanted to get promoted, but said she checked the person’s qualifications and found that the employee was not qualified.
“They persisted. And then I was called to [the Speaker’s] office. He scolded me,” said Anderson, a bar topnotcher and co-alumnus of Alvarez and Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas at the Ateneo Law School.
It didn’t end there. Anderson said she got threatening text messages from his staff, as well as a call from Alvarez’s executive assistant who supposedly told her that the Speaker’s marching orders was “to bring hell to me and the commissioner.”
“So I said I’m just the commissioner’s staff, and I do what I’m told. So there, if it’s really wrong, we will not do it because of the reforms and anti-corruption drive in BOC. The commissioner and I have zero tolerance for this,” she said.
Anderson said this was the context for her angry post on Facebook
In a June 16 post accompanying a Philippine Daily Inquirer story about Alvarez’s threat to dissolve the Court of Appeals in connection with the inter-branch spat over the six detained Ilocos Norte officials, she wrote: “I’m hoping and praying he tries so he realizes what an imbecile he is when he fails.”
“Isn’t there anyone else in the House composed of 200-plus representatives who can actually be speaker? Nakakahiya na (It’s embarrassing l already),”
Fariñas called her attention to the post during a hearing of the ways and means committee on illegal drug shipments arriving in the country and bypassing scrutiny from the BOC.
Anderson apologized to the lawmakers but did not include the Speaker in her apology. There was no immediate comment from the Speaker or his staff. SFM
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