|BI marks 72nd year|
SEPTEMBER 04, 2012
President Aquino hailed officials and employees of the Bureau of Immigration (BI) for supporting his government’s agenda of good governance.
In his message to the BI on the occasion of the agency’s 72nd anniversary, the President cited the important role of immigration officers, whom he called the country’s “gatekeepers,” in safeguarding national security.
He also said the BI plays a vital role in nation building, particularly in developing tourism and attracting foreign investments as well as in combating human trafficking and illegal recruitment.
The Chief Executive observed that the BI’s anniversary theme (Bayanihan sa Pandarayuhan: Kaagapay sa Kaunlaran) aptly reflects the government’s mission to “pursue national development with transparency and Accountability.”
At the BI, Immigration Commissioner Ricardo David Jr. led employees in reciting a Pledge of Peace as they joined the nation in observing national peace consciousness month.
The government has declared September of every year as national peace consciousness month to instill the Filipinos’ awareness of the peace process and promote a culture of peace based on non-violence.
In his remarks, David downplayed calls that he resign in the wake of the reported escape of former Palawan Gov. Joel Reyes with the aid of two BI employees at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).
David said he will not resign because it was not he who ordered the two employees to aid Reyes and his brother in fleeing the country last March 18. He said only President Aquino or Justice Secretary Leila de Lima can tell him to resign.
The immigration chief made the statement after text messages from anonymous sources were sent to members of media and BI employees over the weekend alleging that David had resigned.
David also described as baseless suggestions that he quit due to command responsibility, saying he was not the supervisor of the two employees who helped the Reyes brothers leave the country.
“In my 38 years in the military service, I know very well that command responsibility does not apply to me in this case,” he said as he vowed to continue his program to professionalize the BI and purge its ranks of corrupt employees.###