Duterte orders suspension of officials linked to missing 23K sacks of smuggled rice

admin   •   October 4, 2018   •   7197

 

Smuggled sacks of rice in a Zamboanga City warehouse | Image via Zamboanga City Government Facebook account

President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the suspension of officials responsible for the disappearance of 23,000 sacks of smuggled rice in Zamboanga City in September.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said, Customs Commissioner Isidro Lapena has already ordered the administrative relief of Zamboanga Customs District Collector Lyceo Martinez and Customs Police District Commander Filomeno Salazar due to the incident.

“Nagalit po talaga ang presidente because how can you lose 23,000 sacks,” said Roque.

“Obviously it cannot be done in a clandestine manner. Nakita ng lahat na inilalabas itong mga nahuling bigas at incredible at kagalit-galit na napupuslit ang ganitong karaming bigas na nahuli na ng gobyerno na being smuggled,” he added.

Authorities were able to recover 16,000 sacks after a series of raids in various warehouses.

There are still 17,000 sacks missing, some of which may have already been repacked and distributed to stores, which is why the President has ordered the National Food Authority, the Bureau of Customs and the National Bureau of Investigation to conduct a thorough investigation into the case. — Rosalie Coz

Blast hits outside Sulu mayor’s house

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 24, 2019

An explosion struck outside the house of Pangutaran, Sulu Mayor Asri Taib in Barangay Canelar Moret, Zamboanga City on Thursday morning (October 24).

According to Western Mindanao Command (WESMINCOM) Spokesperson Maj. Arvin Encinas, it was only a minor explosion with no casualties reported. He also said the improvised explosive device (IED) used was only small.

Authorities are continuing to investigate on the perpetrators behind the explosion as well as the motive behind the action.—AAC (with reports from Lea Ylagan)

P2.4M worth of smuggled cigarettes seized in Zamboanga

Robie de Guzman   •   October 2, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Around 90 boxes of smuggled cigarettes estimated to be worth P2.4 million were seized in transit by the operatives of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) at the Port of Zamboanga last Saturday (Sept. 28).

The BOC said the smuggled cigarettes were intercepted aboard MJ Champion, a wooden watercraft locally known as “Jungkung” from Jolo, Sulu, during a joint operation in the waters off Istanbak in Lower Calarian, Zamboanga City.

BOC-Zamboanga District Collector Atty. Segundo Barte Jr. said the operation was launched after they received information that an undetermined number of smuggled cigarettes will be transported and distributed in Magay and Sta. Cruz Public Markets in Zamboanga City.

The operation was carried out by the BOC with the elements of the Philippine Coast Guard, Task Force Aduana, Naval Intelligence and Security Group Western Mindanao and Naval Special Operations Unit.

“A Warrant of Seizure and Detention (WSD) will be issued against the smuggled cigarettes for violation of Executive Order No. 245, the Amended Rules and Regulations Governing the Exportation and Importation of Leaf Tobacco and Tobacco Products, and Section 117 of Republic Act No. 10863, otherwise known as Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA),” the BOC said.

“A WSD will also be issued against the vessel, MJ Champion, for transporting the smuggled cigarettes which is a violation of Section 1113 of the CMTA,” it added.

Last September 18, around 30 cartons of assorted cigarettes estimated to be worth P900,000 were also seized at the Port of Zamboanga. The cartons were loaded into two hatch back type vehicles inside the pier area.

BOC Zamboanga seizes smuggled rice and cigarettes

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 21, 2019

Boxes of smuggled cigarettes intercepted by the BOC along Pangutaran, Sulu and Isabela City, Basilan on August 19, 2019 | Courtesy: BOC Zamboanga

The Bureau of Customs (BOC) Zamobanga has seized smuggled rice and cigarettes on Monday (Aug 19) along Pangutaran, Sulu and Isabela City, Basilan, respectively.

Preliminary reports said authorities found various sacks of rice inside ML Nhardzrmar-2 while it was docked in Baliwasan Seaside, Zamboanga City. Meanwhile, the smuggled cigarettes were intercepted aboard MV Trisha Kirstin-1 of Aleson Shipping Lines.

The seized goods were turned over to the BOC.

Meanwhile, District Collector of the Port of Zamboanga collector Segundo Sigmundfreud Barte has commended continued efforts to fight against smuggling particularly on agricultural products and other anti-social goods.

“The seizure of cigarettes should serve as a warning to smugglers and manufacturers of fake cigarettes,” according to BOC’s press release.—AAC (with reports from Aiko Miguel)

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