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

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Thursday, October 4th, 2018

 

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

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BOC execs in Zamboanga suspended over missing rice

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Tuesday, October 9th, 2018

 

Zamboanga City Mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco-Salazar and Zamboanga District Collector Atty. Lyceo C. Martinez | Photo via Zamboanga City Government Facebook page

 

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines – District Collector Atty. Lyceo Martinez and other officials of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) Zamboanga District were suspended on Tuesday (October 9) over thousands of sacks of rice that remains missing.

The rice supply was turned over to the BOC after the seizure operation.

Martinez has an existing charges of gross neglect of duty, grave misconduct and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of service prior to his suspension.

His co-accused are District Commander of the Customs Police Filomeno Salazar and two others.

The BOC continues to investigate where the missing goods were possibly delivered. – UNTV News and Rescue

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BOC intercepts 200 container vans of smuggled rice at Manila Port

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Thursday, June 14th, 2018

Bureau of Customs (BOC) seized 200 containers loaded with smuggled rice at Manila International Container Port. (UNTV News and Rescue)

 

MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Customs (BOC) reported on Thursday, June 14, that the agency has intercepted 200 container vans loaded with a total of 100,000 sacks of smuggled rice at the Manila International Container Port in the first week of June.

Customs Commissioner Isidro Lapeña confirmed the seizure of thousands of sacks of Thailand White Rice from Vietnam under the consignee, Sta. Rosa Farm Products Corporation.

BOC alerted other agencies regarding a shipment that had no import permit as required by the National Food Authority (NFA.)

Lapeña noted the NFA Circular AO-2013-04-0002 which states that all rice importers should secure an NFA permit before being allowed entry of imported rice to the country.

Based on BOC’s assessment, the 100,000 sacks of smuggled rice are valued at P250 million with duties and taxes amounting to P31.4 million for the 150 container vans while the remaining 50 containers are still under abandonment proceedings.

The importer of the shipment is likely to face charges for violation of Section 1113 of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act as well as charges for agricultural smuggling.

Lapeña said this is by far the biggest haul of agricultural products since he assumed as BOC chief. – Aiko Miguel / Marje Pelayo

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NHA clarifies ‘misquoted’ cost of wooden footbridge in Zamboanga project

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Wednesday, May 9th, 2018

ZAMBO BRIDGE COLLAPSE: A bridge mishap at a housing site in Zamboanga (Courtesy of EMEDIAMO)

 

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines – The National Housing Authority (NHA) denied Wednesday, May 9, that the wooden footbridge in Zamboanga City that collapsed during the visitation of housing officials in April costs P12 million.

According to Engineer Al Indanan, the bridge’s project manager and NHA’s district manager in Zamboanga, House Committee on Housing and Urban Development Chair Representative Alfredo Benitez was “misquoted.”

“I think they were just misquoted on that. The 12 million is for the whole 2,000-meter foot bridge…not the damaged portion,” Indanan explained.

Benitez mentioned in a congressional hearing last week that the wooden footbridge was way too expensive.

Indanan added that each linear meter of the project costs P6,000  thus the entire stretch costs P12 million.

Nevertheless, NHA Zamboanga said they are willing to face probe in Congress in line with the mishap.

The agency and the city council met Tuesday to discuss the overall cost of the wooden bridge, the plan for its repair and the action they will take against the contractor of the bridge.

“We will have to make the contractor liable. The liability is on the contractor,” Indanan concluded. — Dante Amento | UNTV News & Rescue

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