De Lima wants probe on militarization of BOC

Marje Pelayo   •   November 26, 2018   •   3044

QUEZON CITY, Philippines – Senator Leila de Lima wants an investigation on the military forces’ alleged take over of the Bureau of Customs (BOC).

In a resolution filed by De Lima in Senate on Monday (November 26), the lady senator said she is alarmed by the possible effects of military presence in the regular functions of the agency especially when it comes to revenue collection.

De Lima argued that President Rodrigo Duterte should adhere to the Constitution that bars military personnel from holding civilian positions in the government especially that there is no state of lawlessness inside BOC. – UNTV News and Rescue

Senate to launch probe on smuggling of agri products

Maris Federez   •   December 8, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Senate Committee of the Whole is set to launch an investigation on the alleged large-scale smuggling of agricultural products in the country on December 14.

This is after Senate President Vicente Sotto III’s privilege speech in the plenary where he talked about the ongoing corruption in the Bureau of Customs (BOC) and rampant incidents of smuggling that affect farmers and the agricultural sector.

Sotto said that based on the BOC’s press releases, it has conducted 25 anti-smuggling operations from May to November this year that amounted close to Php1 billion.

Sotto said, however, these reports do not match the actual number of cases the agency files in court.

“If we are to base the efficacy of our fight against smuggling on the press releases of the Bureau of Customs, it seems like we are on top of the issue. But the big problem is, mukhang hangang PR lang talaga ang pagsugpo sa agricultural products smuggling,” Sotto said.

The BOC, in response, acknowledged Sotto’s pointing out of the discrepancy in their records.

BOC spokesperson Atty. Vincent Maronilla said they are ready to face any investigation that will shed light on the issues against their anti-agricultural smuggling efforts.

“We’re thankful to Sen. Sotto for bringing this concern of some disconnect in our records sa PRs namin and our records of cases filed,” Maronilla said.

“We’re open to any inquiry so we can thresh out whatever inconsistencies in our record or whatever clarifications might be needed in terms of our anti-agriculture smuggling efforts,” he added.

He also assured that they will file cases against whoever will be involved in smuggling.

“Lahat ng may involvement kinakasuhan namin. At the least pinasasagot sila kung may makitang pagkukulang on their part,” the BOC official said. —/mbmf (from the report of UNTV Correspondent Harlene Delgado)

Halaga ng nakumpiskang smuggled goods ng BOC, umakyat sa P23B ngayong 2021

Maris Federez   •   November 22, 2021

 

MANILA, Philippines — Mas pinalakas na ng Bureau of Customs (BOC) ang mga hakbang nito upang mapigilan na ang pagpasok ng mga iligal na kontrabando sa bansa.

Ngunit sa kabila nito ayon kay BOC Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero, may nakakalusot pa rin na ilang smuggled goods dahil na rin sa limitasyon ng pagsasagawa nila ng inspeksyon ng mga kargamento.

“Talagang ganun po yun, your Honor, kasi may mga limitasyon rin po tayo pagdating sa pagko conduct ng inspection ng Puerto. Because of lack of facility, hindi po lahat nadidiskarga laman ng containers para makita ang kabuuang laman ng container,”ani Guerrero.

Sa ulat ng BOC sa Kamara, aabot na sa Php23 bilyon ang halaga ng smuggled goods na kanilang nakumpiska mula Enero hanggang Oktubre ngayong taon.

Mas malaki ito kumpara sa nakalipas na dalawang taon.

Ayon kay Guerrero, pinalawak na nila  ang paghabol sa mga kontrabando lalo na ng mga counterfeit o fake goods.

“Sa letters of authority na inissue ko, ikocover namin even yung mga warehouses, stores kung saan nakikita natin yung mgaganyang violations,” dagdag nito.

Nababahala naman si Bayan Muna Partylist Representative Ferdinand Gaite kung magpapatuloy ang pagdagsa ng mga smuggled goods partikular na ang mga produktong galing sa agrikultura.

“May ilang pag-aaral ang iba’t-ibang grupo for example yung mga smuggling sa rice, agricultural products and others definitely may direct impact yan sa ating mga magsasaka,” ani Gaite.

Ayon sa BOC, para malabanan ang iligal na pagpasok ng mga produkto, bahagi ng kanilang 10-point priority program noon pang 2020 ang full automation ng frontline transactions, partikular na ang implementasyon ng no-contact policy.

Kasama rin sa 10-point priority program ang target na full implementation ng Customs Modernization Program na popondohan ng World Bank. —/mbmf (mula sa ulat ni UNTV Correspondent Nel Maribojoc)

De Lima formally announces bid for Senate reelection in 2022 polls

Marje Pelayo   •   July 21, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Opposition Senator Leila de Lima has formally announced her bid for reelection in the 2022 national polls.

In a press release issued by her camp, De Lima said “the political persecution she has been subjected to by the Duterte regime only strengthened her resolve to fight for her advocacies.”

De Lima said her “unjust detention” prompted her to seek reelection and work harder “to defend human rights at all cost.”

The lady senator earlier chided President Rodrigo Duterte for failing to fulfill all of his campaign promises.

This, she expressed through a letter to the Chief Executive days before Duterte’s sixth and final state of the nation address (SONA).

Among the issues she referred to include illegal drugs, corruption, the West Philippine Sea (WPS) and the state of the country’s economy.

“Mahigit na apat na taon mo na akong ipinakulong para maitago ang iyong pagka-inutil, bukod pa sa paghihiganti mo sa akin. Mahigit na apat na taon na ipinagkait mo sa akin, sa aking pamilya, at sa labing-apat na milyon na bumoto sa akin. Mahigit na apat na taon na akin ngayong sisingilin sa pagtatapos ng iyong termino,” she said.

“Tatakbo akong muli. Hindi ako susuko. Tuloy ang laban. Sisingilin ka namin sa anim na taon na pambabalasubas mo sa aming bansa,” De Lima stressed.

Considered as Duterte’s staunchest critic, De Lima is known for her strong opposition to the current administration’s “murderous and failed” war on drugs which she claimed to have resulted in the death of thousands of suspected drug offenders.

She has been in detention since February 24, 2017 over drug charges.

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