Duterte monitoring 100 more Customs execs linked to corruption

Robie de Guzman   •   September 13, 2019   •   593

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte is monitoring 100 more Bureau of Customs (BOC) officials allegedly involved in corruption within the agency.

In a speech during the launching of Bataan government center and Business in Balanga town on Thursday, Duterte said he received a list of 164 BOC executives purportedly engaging in corrupt practices.

The president then quoted a former Customs’ employee who said that removing these officials would rid the agency of corruption.

“At itong Customs, I was given a list of 164. They have been there already for 38 years, 15 years, 20 years, 25 years,” he said.

“Sabi nung taong ma-acquit sana, an ex-employee of — sa Customs, ‘itong mga tao na ito, ‘Mayor, kung matanggal mo ito, mawawala ang corruption sa gobyerno,’” he added.

“In the meantime that I am investigating the 64, I think they were already suspended by the Ombudsman, I’m still trying to look for these 100 idiots, these sons of a b****,” the president further stated.

Sixty-four of these officials have already been placed on floating status in July and are facing administrative and criminal charges for unlawful activities.

READ: Duterte orders freezing of several Customs officials, employees

Duterte earlier suggested the removal of brokers and examiners at the Customs bureau to significantly reduce corruption in the agency.

He also suggested that instead of brokers, the BOC may be allowed to accredit or designate individuals or companies to arrange their shipment.

READ: Duterte wants brokers, examiners removed from PH Customs

Following Duterte’s proposal, BOC executives met on Wednesday (Sept.11) but have yet to release any information on their discussion on a new system seeking to eliminate the use of brokers in the processing of shipments in the port area. RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

Duterte warns against online scammers

Marje Pelayo   •   June 5, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has warned the public against online scammers at this time of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

The President, in particular, mentioned those who are using social media and other Internet websites to sell face masks.

“Be careful. Lokohan ito ngayon [Scams are rampant nowadays],” he said.

“Huwag kayong bumili ng online-online lalo na magpadala kayo ng pera[Do not buy online when you are asked to send money]. Do not fall for that thing. It has never been perfected and all the scams that man could think of that they can perpetrate on the innocent public, pinag-aaralan nila yan [they plan for it],” he added.

The demand for face masks is high at present as wearing it has become mandatory when going outdoors as protection against COVID-19 infection. MNP (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

P17-M worth of fake cigarette shipment seized in Port of Manila – BOC

Robie de Guzman   •   June 3, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Customs-Port of Manila (BOC-POM) on Wednesday said it has seized a shipment containing fake Mighty and Marvels cigarettes estimated to be worth P17.38 million.

In a statement, the BOC said the shipment consigned to Mvestisery Industrial Supply arrived from China on May 22, 2020.

It was placed on hold and was issued a pre-lodgement control order last May 27 after the POM received derogatory information from the BOC-Enforcement Group, the bureau added.

Upon physical examination, the assigned Customs Examiner assessed its total duties and taxes amounting to Php 9.96 million.

District Collector Arsenia Ilagan ordered the issuance of Warrants of Seizure and Detention against the entire shipment for violation of Section 1401 “Unlawful Importation or Exportation” in relation to Section 1113 “Property Subject Seizure and Forfeiture” of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act.

“The Bureau of Customs maintains its steadfast commitment to curb unlawful trade and anti-smuggling in the nation’s border and inside customs territory,” the bureau said.

Senate OKs bill giving Duterte power to delay class opening during public crisis

Robie de Guzman   •   June 2, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Senate has approved on third and final reading a bill seeking to grant President Rodrigo Duterte ‘flexibility’ to schedule the opening of classes in schools during a state of emergency.

Voting 23-0, senators on Monday unanimously passed Senate Bill 1541, which proposes to amend Section 3 of the Republic Act 7797, a law which sets the opening of school-year as early as the first Monday of June but not later than the last day of August.

The measure covers all basic education schools, including foreign or international schools in the country.

Once enacted into law, the bill would authorize the President, upon the recommendation of the Secretary of the Department of Education, to set the opening of classes nationwide or in selected areas at any date during a state of emergency or calamity.

A similar measure has been approved in the committee level in the House of Representatives on Saturday.

The approval of the proposed measure comes amid the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic which has affected millions of people worldwide. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Harlene Delgado)

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