MANHATTAN, New York — Well that was fast.
Customs Commissioner Ruffy Biazon appeared tonight on the Late Show with David Letterman as a special guest, to clarify and clear up the statement made by Canadian actor Taylor Kitsch and the alleged bribery that took place in our country.
With the national anthem of the Philippines playing in the background when he was introduced; Biazon, sporting a coat and tie waved to the audience and shook hands with the host, where he was greeted majorly with applause.
“I would like to issue a statement on behalf of my country”, said Biazon. “We, as a nation, pride ourselves on how others perceives us. A single mistake is of serious concern to us because it has a negative effect not only on the image of our Bureau of Customs but the Philippines as a country as well.”
He went on to add, “At a time when we are struggling to reform the Bureau and restore the public confidence in our agency, and that the Philippine government is conducting a campaign to attract tourists, it certainly sets us back when a popular US television show such as yours gives information that puts us in a bad light.”
After reading the statement, he was given a standing ovation, where a few of the audience was seen with tears in their eyes. Mr. Letterman, for his part stood up as well and gave Biazon an applause.
Letterman explained in detail to the viewers who were unaware of what the Commissioner was talking about via a brief replay of what happened last week.
During his interview by Letterman, Kitsch claimed that a Filipino Customs official sought to block him from entering the country and asked for a bribe in exchange.
Kitsch reportedly claimed that when he tried to prove that he is an actor by showing a video of his movie on his iPhone, the official allegedly told him, “Can you get me one of those?”
Kitsch supposedly arrived in the country last Feb. 29 for the shooting of his latest movie, Savages, directed by Oliver Stone. (via GMA News)
It turned out to be in Indonesia and not the Philippines.
After the recap, Letterman offered an apology by reading his own statement. He said, “On behalf of our show, on behalf of CBS and most importantly, on behalf of the United States of America, we would like to offer our deepest, and most sincerest apology to all the Filipinos across the world.”
“Indeed, Mr Kitsch was not in the Philippines when he narrated his bribery experience, but was instead in Indonesia. For that we apologize,” said Letterman.
“We feel sorry, that such a small mistake would garner such big reaction from a country who boasts itself as having the worst, wait, I’m sorry, second worst airport in the world.” At this point the audience went silent.
Without letting Biazon leave his seat, Letterman revealed that his next guest are tourists from all across the globe who suffered extortion and bribery attemps from customs and immigration officials upon arriving in the Philippines via the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).
With passport in hand, tourists of different race and nationality, started forming a line in front of the commissioner. After an approximately 300 tourist now filling the venue, Letterman announced that “these people, demand an apology from you and your country for the shameful and illegal acts that they have endured in the hands of your personnel, while trying to visit your country.”
Biazon, having no choice, decided to apologize one-at-a-time to everyone in line; with Paul Schaffer and the CBS Orchestra providing the “ba-dum-bum-CHING” sting for every sorry that Biazon mutters.
The show went off the air after the line was cleared.