By Darryl John Esguerra, October 29 2018; Philippine Daily Inquirer
Image Credit to Business World
President Rodrigo Duterte announced on Sunday evening that the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) would be taking over the operations of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) temporarily due to unmitigated corruption at the agency.
In his speech during the thanks giving party of former Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano in Davao City, Duterte said the military would run the corruption-hit bureau while all of its employees were on floating status
“They will be replaced, all of them, by military men. It will be a takeover of the Armed Forces in the matter of operating, in the meantime, while we are sorting out how to effectively meet the challenges of corruption in this country,” Duterte said.
“I want to put on notice everybody in the Bureau of Customs, they are all in floating status. Maybe start again working, but I said, they are all floating status,” he added.
The BOC has been under fire due to the alleged smuggling of P11 billion worth of shabu that supposedly slipped through security screening.
Customs Commissioner Isidro Lapeña was transferred on Thursday to the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority. Former AFP Chief Rey Guerrero is taking over the BOC.
Lapeña’s predecessor, Nicanor Faeldon, resigned after P6.4-billion worth of shabu slipped past authorities in May of last year.
Duterte defended Lapeña and Faeldon, saying that they were men of integrity and only tricked by insiders.
“Nalusutan lang talaga kasi ‘di nila kaya ‘yan kasi insider eh. Kinain sila ng sistema,” the President said. /cbb