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BOC suspends import permit accreditation of Mighty Corporation

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Thursday, March 16th, 2017

ATTY. ALVIN EBREO, Legal Service Director, Bureau of Customs

ATTY. ALVIN EBREO, Legal Service Director – Bureau of Customs

The Bureau of Customs (BOC) suspended Mighty Corporation’s privilege to import materials and tobacco products.

This came after the BOC issued a preventive suspension order on the customs accreditation of the Mighty Corporation due to violations of the agency’s regulations.

It can be recalled that last month, the BOC seized cigarette products with fake tax stamps at the warehouses of Mighty Corporation in Zamboanga City, General Santos City and San Simon, Pampanga.

“First of all this, is a Senate report. This is an official document from the Senate. Another reason is the issuance of WSD or the warrant of seizure and detention a collector issued in Zamboanga in connection with the seizure of cigarettes, fake or counterfeit tax stamps,” said Atty. Alvin Ebreo, legal service director of BOC.

The Customs also has a document from the fiscal intelligence unit of the Department of Finance which reveals the undervaluation in the importation of cigarette-manufacturing materials of the Mighty Corporation which has reached more than P100 million.

The BOC said there is a need for a thorough investigation to determine the amount in duties and taxes that Mighty Corporation has to pay.

The agency had also issued a preventive suspension order against Mighty Corporation in January 2014 in connection with the Customs bonded warehouse privileges of the said firm.

“This record would show, it would appear na January 2014 na inisyu nila, time pa ni Commissioner Sevilla.  From that time on wala silang attempt na any request na motion for reconsideration perhaps to lift the preventive suspension (This record would show it would appear that in January 2014 this was issued. This was during the time of Commissioner Sevilla. From that time on they made no attempt to request a motion for reconsideration perhaps to lift the preventive suspension),” Atty. Ebreo said

The BOC is now waiting for the management of the Mighty Corporation to respond to the allegations.

“We are giving the Mighty Corporation the privilege or the right to have also the legal remedies for the possibility of restoring their accreditation privileges so possible that they might also file for a motion for reconsideration and present evidence,” said the Customs legal service director.

UNTV tried to get the side of the Mighty Corporation however, it refused to comment on the matter.  —  Aiko Miguel | UNTV News & Rescue

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PACC to conduct own probe on P6.8-billion shabu smuggling in BOC

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Friday, December 7th, 2018

One of the four magnetic scrap lifters which reportedly concealed P6.8 billion worth of shabu

MANILA, Philippines — The Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) expressed dissatisfaction over the result of the inquiry conducted by the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee on the P6.8 billion shabu shipment in the Bureau of Customs (BOC).

Though the commission respects the Senate committee’s recommendations on the issue, PACC chairman Dante Jimenez said they will conduct their own investigation on the matter.

The PAAC will form a fact-finding committee to identify individuals responsible for the of smuggling of billions worth of illegal drugs into the country.

“Ang nakikita po namin dito kulang. Hindi kami nagmamarunong but we will exhaust all efforts, I will not allow this just like that na sarado na,” said Jimenez.

Aside from the BOC and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, the PACC will also invite officials from the Philippine Coast Guard, Maritime Industry Authority, Philippine Ports Authority, as well as other government agencies.

The PAAC will also tap former BOC district collector Atty. Lourdes Mangaoang to help in the investigation.

Mangaoang has previously accused former Customs Commissioner Isidro Lapeña of having information about the smuggling of shabu shipment concealed in several magnetic lifters.

This is why the PACC is questioning the decision of the Blue Ribbon Committee to clear Lapeña of charges.

“Actually medyo hindi ako masyadong nagulat ng na-clear si Lapeña dahil may nababalitaan na ako noon pa na pinagyayabang sa part ng nga tao ni General Lapeña na allegedly ayos na raw na nakausap na — allegedly,” said the former district collector.

Senate Blue Ribbon Committee chairman Richard Gordon has yet to comment on the statement of the PACC. — Joan Nano | UNTV News & Rescue

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DENR, BOC probe garbage shipment from South Korea

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Friday, November 16th, 2018

Tons of waste shipload from South Korea | Photo courtesy to DENR Undersecretary Benny Antiporda

MANILA, Philippines — Officials from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Bureau of Customs (BOC) assured that they are now working to immediately resolve the issue on the waste shipment from Korea that was dumped in an area in Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental.

BOC Spokesperson Atty. Erastus Sandino Austria said they are investigating responsible parties including the consignee of the said shipment.

“You have to look the entire transaction, of course, no and get the real facts so that we can hold the people responsible liable,” said Austria.

Containers with about 1,500 tons of garbage arrived last July 21 at the Mindanao Container Terminal aboard the vessel MV Affluent Ocean.

The shipload declared as ‘plastic synthetic flakes’, was said to be consigned to South Korean company Verde Soko II Industrial Corporation.

Initial findings showed that the shipment contained used batteries, dextrose tubes, and diapers.

“I think in-accurate naman po na maluwag ang Customs kaya po tayo nalulusutan ng basura. Sana naman huwag natin pabayaan yung situation na nagiging isang malaking tambakan ng basura ng ibang bansa ang bayan natin. Kaya po ito actually hinuli ng Bureau of Customs no dahil bawal ito obviously na hindi ito dapat ginagawa,” said Austria.

The BOC says the importer and other parties involved in the issue will likely face multiple charges for misdeclaration of goods and for violating environmental laws and the Customs Modernization And Tariff Act.

“I hope that in the future our stakeholders will not be complicit to committing something like this and if our own personnel are also involved in it in any way like by willful misconduct or negligence on their part to properly scrutinize these transactions. They will be held responsible and they will be held liable for this both the erring stakeholders and as well as the erring Bureau of Customs personnel,” said Custom spokesperson.

The EcoWaste Coalition has expressed dismay over the matter which comes amid the still unresolved issue of wastes from Canada that has been languishing in the country.

“Hindi pa kasi natatapos at nareresolba yung nangyari na pagtatambak dito ng Canada ng garbage. E eto na naman at mayroon na namang kasunod na mga basura mula sa mayayamang bansa na mapupunta at tinatapon dito sa atin. Hindi kami natutuwa rito lalo na at hazardous waste,” said EcoWaste Coalition coordinator Aileen Lucero.

The DENR is now looking for ways to return the shipload of waste to South Korea. — Cathy Maglalang| UNTV News & Rescue

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Duterte orders military takeover in the Bureau of Customs

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Monday, October 29th, 2018

 

Bureau of Customs

MANILA, Philippines –President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered a military takeover of the Bureau of Customs (BOC).

After a major shift in its leadership and relief of commissioners and section chiefs, the President also placed all Customs employees under floating status and were required to report directly to the Office of the President.

“I’d like to put on notice everybody in the Bureau of Customs they are all floating status. They will — they can — maybe start again working but I said they are on floating status…all police — Customs police are also on floating status, everybody. The Customs Intelligence Unit, they are to report to Malacañang, all of them. I am ordering everybody to report to my office,” he said during the celebration of former Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano’s natal day on Sunday (October 28).

“They will be replaced all — all of them — by military men. It will be a takeover of the Armed Forces in the matter of operating in the meantime while we are sorting out how to effectively meet the challenges of corruption in this country,” the President said further.

The President explained that though he believes not everyone at BOC is corrupt, he said he has no time to check every single employee’s track record so he decided to remove everyone to weed out the agency of “thieves or robbers.”

“Baka sabihin ni Duterte, ‘Hindi naman kami lahat magnanakaw eh.’ Correct. So very correct. You are right. Not all of you are thieves or robbers, but you know you must be an idiot not to understand. You say that you are honest, that you are not part of the cabal there. And so? If that is your line, I cannot move and you stay there then I have to speculate if you are really a gangster working for the Bureau of Customs, a government employee,” President Duterte said.

“I do not have time for that…you try to sort out there from the inside. No, I’d like them out, then one by one if they are still deserved. If none then since I cannot fire them I’ll have to file a case which could — appeal after appeal it could maybe last for another 10 years. And so by that time, we have lost so many billions and you are destroying my country,” he added.

President Duterte’s order came after he transferred former Customs Commissioner Isidro Lapeña to the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) and replaced him with former Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) administrator Retired AFP chief of staff General Rey Leonardo Guerrero.

Lapeña was placed in hot water after a shipment of shabu valued at P6.8B  loaded inside four magnetic lifters,  slipped Customs inspection in August. – Marje Pelayo

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