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