Noy to ex-LTO chief: We can’t be friends, if...
Delon Porcalla (The Philippine Star) - September 23, 2015 - 10:00am

MANILA, Philippines - President Aquino said he would not tolerate any of his friends violating the law amid allegations of influence peddling against his friend, former Land Transportation Office (LTO) chief Virginia Torres.

Torres, a shooting buddy of Aquino, reportedly dropped the President’s name in an alleged attempt to release P100 million worth of smuggled sugar from Thailand with the Bureau of Customs (BOC).

“If our friendship is based on your ability to use me, therefore we are not friends. If your interest, your aims are contrary to what I want to do, then we also cannot be friends,” Aquino said in an interview with Tina Monzon Palma on ANC on Tuesday.

“Smuggling is definitely not OK. Influence-peddling is not OK,” he said.

Torres failed to convince Customs officials to release the contraband allegedly owned by his friend, Philip Sy, despite using her ties to the President.

Aquino, however, gave Torres the benefit of the doubt, saying it is not logical for her to be involved in sugar smuggling because she has a sugar plantation in Tarlac.

He said Torres has leased land in Tarlac after her stint at the LTO and is now a sugar planter.

“Does it make sense for her to facilitate sugar smugglers that will depress the prices of the product that she has invested in? That is the only thing that’s off hand. It’s not logical,” Aquino said.

Aquino said he only found out about the incident through the papers and has yet to talk to Torres.

ACIRC AQUINO BUREAU OF CUSTOMS LAND TRANSPORTATION OFFICE PHILIP SY PRESIDENT AQUINO SUGAR TARLAC TINA MONZON PALMA TORRES VIRGINIA TORRES
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