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Philippine Navy seizes nearly P68M worth of smuggled rice in Zamboanga

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Monday, April 16th, 2018

Over 27,000 sacks of allegedly smuggled rice were siezed by the Philippine Navy.

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Navy Western Mindanao Command apprehended a Mongolian-registered vessel in the waters of Zamboanga Sibugay on Saturday, April 14.

Over 27,000 sacks of allegedly smuggled rice were seized from the cargo vessel.

Onboard MV Diamond 8 were 15 crew members identified as 11 Bangladeshis and 4 Chinese nationals, together with 34 undocumented Filipinos including a minor.

According to investigation, the cargo ship has already unloaded around 7,000 to 8,000 sacks to two other vessels with locations yet to be determined. — UNTV News & 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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BOC holds off auction plans for smuggled rice in Zamboanga Sibugay

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Wednesday, April 18th, 2018

The cargo ship MV Diamond 8 with the smuggled rice in Zamboanga Sibugay

The Bureau of Customs (BOC) will not allow the resell of smuggled rice from Zamboanga, Sibugay unless the shipment goes through proper investigation.

According to Atty. Lyceo Martinez, BOC’s collection officer in Zamboanga, the agency is giving the owner of the shipment as well as the owner of the cargo vessel, MV Diamond 8, ample time to prepare for the investigation.

BOC said the process will take time because the ship involved is an international vessel. If the owners are proven to have violated the Philippine law, a warrant of seizure and detention will be issued against them and the shipment.

“After considering all the facts of the case from the Navy at saka sa mga may-ari ng barko (and the vessel owners)…after the proper seizure and forfeiture proceedings, doon pa lang natin sila pwedeng i-auction (only then can we hold the auction),” Martinez explained.

On Tuesday, representatives from the Philippine Navy, BOC, the Bureau of Immigration and the Bureau of Quarantine met to discuss the joint inventory on the smuggled rice.

“We want to turn this over to the proper agencies and then iyong sa crew naman, doon sa (as for the crew, turn them over to the) Bureau of Immigration. As far as the goods are concerned naman itu-turn over namin ito sa (we will turn them over to the) Bureau of Customs,” Col. Joe Anthony Orbe, the acting commander of the Naval Task Force said.

The shipment includes 27,180 sacks of rice valued at P67 million.

The BOC wants to make sure through the inventory if there are other illegal items aside from the smuggled rice on board MV Diamond 8. — Dante Amento | UNTV News & Rescue

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