Customs personnel tagged in corruption to face admin raps before Ombudsman – Palace

Robie de Guzman   •   July 19, 2019   •   2363

President Rodrigo Duterte meets the relieved employees of the Bureau of Customs in Malacañang on July 18, 2019. | Courtesy: Sen. Bong Go

MANILA, Philippines – Officials and employees of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) tagged in corruption allegations will face administrative charges before the Office of the Ombudsman, Malacañang said on Friday.

“Administrative charges over allegations of corrupt practices in office will be filed against them before the Office of the Ombudsman, unless they opt to resign, and the prosecutors will ask for their immediate suspension,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a statement.

On Thursday night, President Rodrigo Duterte met with dozens of customs personnel in Malacañang.

Panelo said Duterte told them they will be given their day in court as part of the due process.

“The President has been forthright in telling these customs officials and employees that corruption has no place under his watch,” Panelo said.

“PRRD [President Rodrigo Roa Duterte] assured them that he would not begrudge them if they would avail of legal remedies to question their removal from office,” he added.

The president, Panelo said, “thanked them for accepting his invitation to meet him in Malacañang, which according to him, showed they still have respect for him.”

While waiting for the formal filing of charges, the said customs officials will be “in floating status without authority to act on official matters.”

The chief executive earlier ordered for the freezing of several high-ranking customs officials who were accused of corrupt practices in office.

READ: Duterte orders freezing of several Customs officials, employees

“Let this serve as a reminder to all those officials or employees in the government that they cannot escape liability or accountability for their acts of corruption under the Duterte administration,” Panelo said. (with details from Rosalie Coz)

Palace: Duterte is now in the ‘green of health’

Aileen Cerrudo   •   November 18, 2019

Malacañang has announced that President Rodrigo Duterte is experiencing sickness due to old age and is now in the “green of health”, not pink.

On Sunday, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the president, who is now 74 years old, is “not normal” when it comes to his health.

“Hindi siya normal kasi nga, ang dami niyang nararamdaman. Kumbaga, kung sinabi ko noon na (He is not normal because he has a lot of illnesses. It’s like, if I said then) he was ‘in the pink of health’, ngayon (now) I think he is now ‘in the green of health’,” he said.

However, Panelo said despite these illnesses, Duterte continues to do his duties as the chief executive.

“If you will notice, kahit na ganyan siya, may nararamdaman, iyong kaniyang schedule ganoon pa rin, hindi pa rin nagbago (Even if he is experiencing illnesses [due to old age] his schedule remain unchanged), not only does he survive but he does it well,” he said.—AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

BOC seizes P4.4M worth of smuggled sugar from China

Robie de Guzman   •   November 14, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Eight containers of smuggled sugar estimated to be worth P4.4 million have been seized at the Port of Manila, the Bureau of Customs (BOC) said on Thursday.

The BOC said the confiscated sugar, which was shipped from China, arrived at the South Harboron August 30.

The shipment consigned to RZTREC Trading was declared to contain steel coils.

But upon closer inspection on November 13, the BOC found the containers to be carrying Korach conditioned refined sugar.

The bureau said a warrant of seizure and detention has been issued against the said shipment for violation of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act.

2 suspects nabbed, P6.8 million worth of shabu seized at Makati Bar

Robie de Guzman   •   November 13, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Around P6.8 million worth of methamphetamine hydrochloride (shabu) was seized at a bar in Makati City on Tuesday, the Bureau of Customs (BOC) said.

Two suspects, identified as Edison Chua and Brian Bentigui, were also arrested after they accepted the delivery of a package containing around one kilogram of shabu.

The operation was jointly conducted by personnel from the BOC, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, Philippine National Police and the Manila International Airport Authority.

Authorities said the shabu, concealed in a water filter and shipped from San Antonio, Texas, was intercepted at the FedEx warehouse on Nov. 6. It was consigned to Chua.

The two suspects will face charges for violation of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act and the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act.

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