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Ping asks Rody: Aren’t you mad at Customs?

By: PNA

“Aren’t you mad at the BoC, Mr. President?”

Sen. Panfilo “Ping” M. Lacson yesterday aired his frustration on social media on what seemed like President Duterte’s passiveness on the R6.4-billion shabu shipment from China seized in a warehouse in Valenzuela City last May.

“Aren’t you mad at the BoC, Mr. President? That’s 605 kgs of high-grade meth that slipped out of the Customs zone under their noses,” Lacson said on his official Twitter account.

Duterte has repeatedly expressed his desire to rid the Philippines since the presidential campaign of illegal drugs as part of his iron-fist approach to restoring peace and order in the country.

Lacson and a number of senators have slammed the Bureau of Customs for allowing the shipment to enter the Philippines. According to them, inspection was not done properly and protocols were not followed.

Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency Director General Isidro Lapeña has said the BoC Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service did not follow procedures to coordinate with his agency upon receiving information on the illegal shipment.

CIIS Director Neil Anthony Estrella, in a Senate hearing, admitted that he did not immediately coordinate with PDEA after he learned of the shipment because CIIS was still “validating the information.”

Lacson insisted that reforms in the BoC will be difficult to implement unless its “3 o’clock habit” is abolished.

The “three o’clock habit” is an alleged weekly meeting or practice among employees and importers of the BoC where bribes are given and split up.

He described the existence of the weekly habit as “institutionalized corruption.”

Lawmakers have called for the resignation of BoC Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon for allowing the shipment to slip through the BoC. Duterte has expressed his trust in Faeldon even as lawmakers are asking for his resignation saying he will await the results of the ongoing congressional investigations.

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