PDEA to charge former Customs official over importation of illegal drugs

UNTV News   •   September 6, 2017   •   5482

IMAGE_UNTV_NEWS_090517_PDEA

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) will file charges against former and incumbent officials of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) for allegedly violating Section 4 of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.

The charges, PDEA said, stemmed from the illegal importation of more than 600-kilograms of shabu which BOC failed to intercept.

On the program ‘Get it Straight with Daniel Razon’, NCR PDEA Director Wilkins Villanueva said they will file charges against the personalities involved in the entry of illegal drugs.

These include former Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon and former Intelligence and Investigation Service Director Neil Anthony Estrella.

“The moment, they were able to open a crate of drugs, they should have stopped and called the PDEA because it’s illegal drugs. They no longer have to validate the other contents of the crate because they already have seen illegal drugs,” Villanueva said.

Former Intelligence and Investigation Service Director Neil Anthony Estrella, on the other hand, said he is ready to face the charges to be filed against him.

Estrella stands firm that he has no involvement in illegal drug trade, and wonders why a partner agency against illegal drugs are targeting them instead of going after those responsible for bringing illegal drugs in the country.

Former Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon has yet to respond to the filing of charges against him.

Meanwhile, the amount of 600-kilograms of shabu intercepted in Valenzuela is not more than P6-billion.

Villanueva said the illegal drugs were only worth P3.05-billion based on their computation of P5-million per kilogram.

The NCR PDEA Director claims the BOC has just jacked up the amount.

Villanueva further notes that the percentage of those who stopped using illegal drugs has not even reached one percent of the more than one million individuals who surrendered under the anti-drugs campaign of the government.

He said the facilities built to rehabilitate those who surrendered are not effective.

Villanueva said PDEA was also able to observe that there had been no changes in the prices of illegal drugs.

This means, Villanueva notes, many are using illicit drugs despite the continuous operations against it.

“Kasi pag kumonti ang gagamit bababa ang presyo, kasi kakaunti ang gagamit magiging ordinary na eh pero habang dumadami ang gagamit tataas ng tataas yan high ang demand eh,” Villanueva said.

Villanueva also explained that the previous administration did not prioritize the country’s problem on illegal drugs.

“When did the previous administration mentioned illegal drugs in their SONA? As far as I can remember, former Pres. Gloria Arroyo mentioned it sometime in 2003 to have the campaign against illegal drugs reach the barangay level. That’s only once before President Duterte. Imagine for so many years, the problem on illegal drugs was no mentioned in SONA,” Villanueva added.

Among PDEA’ suggestions are for the government to also focus on making effective its rehabilitation of surrenderees under the Anti-Illegal Drugs Campaign. The agency said campaign would become successful if those who surrendered will be fully rehabilitated. – Mon Jocson | UNTV News and Rescue

Public warned against scammers using fake BOC emails, web links

Robie de Guzman   •   August 7, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Customs (BOC) on Friday warned the public against unscrupulous individuals taking advantage of initiatives to promote the use of online systems amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic by posing as bureau personnel to extort money from their victims.

The BOC issued the warning following reports of people claiming to have communicated with individuals allegedly from the bureau who in turn ask payment for the release of their packages.

The bureau said these scammers are using fake Bureau of Customs e-mail accounts and websites as means to swindle their victims.

The BOC reiterated that the official website of the Bureau of Customs is http://customs.gov.ph and it is using e-mail address boc.cares@customs.gov.ph to cater to stakeholder concerns.

The agency said it is now coordinating with the National Bureau of Investigation to take down these fake accounts and bring the scammers to justice.

It also reminded the public to remain vigilant against criminals who take advantage of technology to commit unscrupulous acts.

P15M worth of misdeclared high-end goods seized at NAIA

Robie de Guzman   •   August 5, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – A shipment of high-end branded goods that were misdeclared as personal effects was recently apprehended at the Port of Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), the Bureau of Customs (BOC) said.

In a statement, the BOC said the shipment, which consisted of bags, shoes, wallets and other luxury goods was valued at P15 million.

The items included high-end brands like Chanel, Hermes, Christian Louboutin, Valentino, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Balenciaga bags, shoes, wallets, and earrings.

The bureau said that the shipment was fraudulently declared as personal effects, consisting of shampoo, soap, towels, toiletries, canned goods, milk and chocolates, packed in 17 cartons. It was shipped from Milano, Italy through RRG Freight Service Forwarder in Paicargo Warehouse.

A physical examination of the subject shipment confirmed that it actually consists of high-end goods in commercial quantities.

The BOC said the misdeclaration is an apparent attempt to evade payment of correct duties and taxes by circumventing duty and tax free privileges afforded to balikbayan boxes.

According to Port of NAIA district collector Carmelita Talusan, the shipment will be subjected to seizure and forfeiture proceedings for violation of Section 1400 in relation to Section 1113 of the CMTA.

The records and details of the apprehension shall be referred to the Bureau Action Team Against Smugglers (BATAS) for case profiling and build up against the personalities involved in the foiled smuggling.

OFW groups satisfied with President’s SONA

Maris Federez   •   July 28, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Several groups of overseas Filipino workers (OFW) have expressed their gratitude to President Rodrigo Duterte on his State of the Nation Address (SONA).

Around 300 Filipinos representing several groups of OFWs from different countries met online and simultaneously watched the President’s SONA.

They said the chief executive did not let them down as he urged Congress “to pass a law establishing the Department of Overseas Filipino solely on addressing the concerns of Filipinos abroad and their families.”

Last March, the lower House passed the creation of the Department of Filipino Overseas and Foreign Deployment. The Senate, on the other hand, is still hearing the bill.

In his SONA, the President reiterated his commitment of support to OFWs.

He called on the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and other agencies to allocate trainings and programs for OFWs.

With this, the United Filipino Global International thanked the president for his concern over them.

“The SONA speech of the president, I think we are very happy kasi alam naman po namin ang kaniyang intention. Ang kaniyang speech ay para talaga tumulong nang totoo na walang halong pamumulitiko,” said Gemma Sotto, chairperson of United Filipino Global International. — (from the report of Asher Cadapan, Jr.) /mbmf

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