IN HIS DESIRE to further strengthen his efforts in the campaign against corruption and smuggling, Customs Deputy Commissioner for Intelligence Danilo D. Lim, Brig. Gen. (Ret), has tapped the services of a top-notch lawyer and at the same time a certified public accountant (CPA) to head the legal group of the Intelligence Group (IG) of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) yesterday.
BOC Lawyer and CPA Danilo G. Ballena, Jr. was personally asked by Deputy Commissioner Lim to head IG’s legal group and was tasked to lead a sound and efficient management of the legal affairs of the office, especially in providing legal actions, support and guidance to officers and personnel within IG who have specific responsibility for the conduct of its intelligence activities nationwide.
Ballena, 31, will act as the legal advisor of IG’s Deputy Commissioner Lim and responsible in providing legal advises to him on policies and in relation to his statutory responsibilities in BOC.
As IG’s legal officer, Ballena, may also investigate issues of non-compliance and suggest oversight measures when non-compliance becomes a major issue, especially in relation to cases of corruption in the office and cases of smuggling under IG’s authority.
As a staunched advocate on good governance and anti-corruption, Ballena shares the true sentiment of Deputy Commissioner Lim, thus IG will be stronger and will have its redefined stature of a ‘better office’ starting the next few weeks.
‘’I will do what is right,” the curt response of Ballena when asked about his plans for IG legal group.
He is also expected to ensure that all regulatory codes and provisions of the Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippines are faithfully complied with by the transacting public while engaging transactions with IG to protect the interest of the government, and efficiently toe the transparent line of ‘Matuwid na Daan’ of President Aquino.
Ballena will also be responsible for overseeing all the IG’s legal aspects especially on updating any changes in the law and in setting up educational opportunities for IG officers and employees training on legal matters that are crucial to their efficiency and proficiency in their respective work performance.
Ballena, concurrent head of the Accounting Unit of the Port of Manila (POM), passed both the bar and the CPA board examinations. He finished Bachelor of Laws at the San Sebastian College Recoletos, Manila, and graduated Cum Laude in Bachelor of Science in Accountancy in Divine Word College of Bangued, Abra.
He is a member of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines; Philippine Institute of Certified Public Accountants; Government Association of Certified Public Accountants; Association of Government Internal Auditors; and former Vice-Grand Officer of Fraternal Order of Leviathan.
Ballena leads tough in his advocacy on good governance and on anti-graft, one idealism that he tightly shares with Deputy Commissioner Lim and the current administration.