New Customs to impose “one-strike policy” against corrupt employees

admin   •   August 30, 2017   •   3435

MANILA, Philippines — Newly-installed Bureau of Customs (BOC) Commissioner Isidro Lapeña gave a stern warning at the formal turnover of the agency’s leadership on Wednesday.

“Similar to what I did with PDEA, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, I will implement a “one- strike policy,” said Lapeña.

“Once I receive reports of your involvement with corrupt practices and such reports are validated. I will not think twice,” he said.

“My top priority and it should be clear to everyone, is to do away with the culture of “pasalubong” and “tara” strictly “ no gift and no take policy,” said the new commissioner.

In his speech, the new Customs chief vowed to not tolerate and to immediately oust employees of the agency found involved in corrupt practices.

Lapeña said this is the same policy he enforced during his tenure as the head of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).

He called on importers and brokers not to connive with any individual or group that collects “tara” or grease money to pursue an illegal shipment.

Lapeña said he would also bring with him his own men whom he says would implement reforms to stop corruption.

But he assured that employees who have been honest in their service, will remain in the agency .

“However in some positions, I will infuse some new blood to help me introduce transformative measures into an old system that has been destroyed by corrupt organizational culture,” said the Customs chief.

Meanwhile, Commissioner Lapeña said one of the matters he plans to immediately look into is the reported smuggling of cement.

Former Customs chief Nicanor Faeldon plans to give Lapeña a set of evidence at the soonest possible time.

“I will be turning over the evidence to him, because officially I can no longer file that, it has to be the Bureau of Customs that has to file that,” said Faeldon.

Lapeña warned those who use his name to collect money from BOC adding that he will not hesitate to order their arrest. — Aiko Miguel | UNTV News & Rescue

 

Duterte designates NBI as sole body to probe PNP-PDEA ‘misencounter’

Robie de Guzman   •   February 26, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has designated the National Bureau of Investigation to be the sole agency to investigate the alleged misencounter between cops and operatives of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), Malacañang said Friday.

“Nagdesisyon po ang ating president na tanging NBI lang po ang mag-iimbestiga duon sa putukan na nangyari sa panig ng mga kapulisan at PDEA diyan po sa Quezon City,” Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said.

The shooting incident involving policemen and PDEA operatives occurred on Wednesday afternoon near a mall along Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City. Four individuals – two cops, a PDEA agent and an informant – were killed in the gun battle.

The PNP and PDEA earlier said that a joint Board of Inquiry has been created to look into the incident.

But due to Duterte’s order, the joint probe will have to be discontinued.

“’Yung mga binuong joint panel para imbestigahan yan, na binuo po ng PNP at PDEA ay di na po magtutuloy sa kanilang imbestigahan,” Roque said.

Both PNP and PDEA assured to work with the NBI in compliance with Duterte’s directive. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

Alleged ‘misencounter’ between QCPD, PDEA kills 2 cops; probe ongoing

Marje Pelayo   •   February 25, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Personnel of the Quezon City Police District (QCPD) engaged in an alleged ‘misencounter’ with agents of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) on Wednesday afternoon (February 24) outside Ever Gotesco Mall along Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City. 

In a statement issued after the incident, PNP Chief General Debold Sinas directed NCRPO Director PMGen, Vicente Danao Jr. to speak on any updates from the PNP in order to keep the public updated with accurate and relevant information.

Danao said the PNP will create a task force to deal with the incident and asked the public to wait for the official results of the investigation before making conclusions about the encounter.

“Iimbestigahan muna natin both sides para makita kung paano nangyari ito,” Danao said in a press briefing following the incident.

“Iyong may mga tama ng bala lalo na yung mga badly injured will be brought to the hospital for medication,” he said.

Initial findings stated that the QCPD District Special Operations Unit (DSOU) was executing a buy-bust operation in the area unaware that the person they were dealing with was a PDEA agent.

The PDEA agent allegedly opened fire first prompting the QCPD to retaliate resulting in a gunfight.

Two police officers from the QCPD died in the encounter while two PDEA agents and a civilian were injured.

Recovered from the encounter site were high-caliber firearms, badges and identification cards.

Following the incident, the QCPD immediately released a copy of the coordination form signed by PDEA-NCR in relation to the operation.

On the part of PDEA, the agency also said it needs to gather more information about the incident while it claimed that the PDEA Special Enforcement Service was in the area ‘on a legitimate operation.’ MNP (with reports from Lea Ylagan)

DOF orders BOC to heighten security vs pork smuggling

Aileen Cerrudo   •   February 23, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—The Department of Finance (DOF) has ordered the Bureau of Customs (BOC) to heighten its security against pork smuggling .

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III wants a tighter watch over the possible misdeclaration or misclassification of pork shipments entering the country.

The order was issued after President Duterte approved in principle the recommendation of the Department of Agriculture (DA) to expand the minimum access volume (MAV) allocation for pork imports.

Dominguez said some importers may misdeclare their pork shipments to avoid paying higher import duties. The current tariff on pork within the MAV is at 30 percent, while off-quota imports are taxed a higher 40 percent. 

“Edible offal (entrails) of bovine animals, such as swine, sheep and goats are taxed much lower, which some importers may declare [for their] prime pork shipments to avoid paying higher import duties,” the DOF said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero assured that the bureau has been closely monitoring the imports of meat products, including pork and chicken. AAC

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