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House committee to propose BOC abolition

By Charissa Luci-Atienza
The House Committee on Dangerous Drugs is bracing next week for the plenary approval of its report  recommending the abolition of the Bureau of Customs (BOC)  and the filing of criminal and administrative charges against erring BOC officials involved in the alleged P6.4 billion shabu smuggling inside the customs bureau.

House of Representatives (Michael Varcas / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

House of Representatives (Michael Varcas / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

Surigao del Norte Rep. Robert Ace Barbers, panel chairman said the House leadership assured him that their committee report on the BOC drug smuggling will be included in the plenary’s Order of Business next week.

“It was not included yesterday, but we have been assured that it will be included in the Order of Business next week,” he said in an interview.

The House panel’s 57-page report contains the recommendations on the P6.4 billion drug raid in Valenzuela City last May

“It is already approved in principle by the committee and we’re just going to go through the motions of the report being adopted in plenary so we can give copies to the concerned government agencies regarding our recommendations in the report. Hopefully, the plenary approval will be done next week, ” Barbers said.

Considering that there will be strong opposition to abolish the BoC, he said his panel will further look into it and learn the best practices of other countries, like in Peru.

“My recommendation is study further that proposal and perhaps copy what other nations in the world have done because may template na din yan,I’m sure like what they did in Peru, “Barbers said.

Barbers’ panel sought the filing of criminal charges by the Ombudsman against resigned Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon for allegedly coddling Chen Ju Long, general manager of Hong Fei Logistics and a suspected drug lord during an anti-drug operation in Valenzuela Citylast May. The raid resulted in the seizure of 604 kilos of shabu worth P6.4 billion.

The panel also called on the Department of Justice (DOJ) to conduct a preliminary investigation against Faeldon for officially designating lawyer Mandy Therese Anderson for signing the daily time records of hired basketball and volleyball players, which is penalized under Article 172 and177 of the Revised Penal Code.

Anderson signed the Daily Time Records (DTRs) of the basketball and volleyball players hired by the BOC and made it appear that they reported for work as Technical Assistants and Counter Intelligence Analysts when they were actually hired to play for the BOC basketball and volleyball teams.
The committee report included the filing by the DOJ of falsification charges against Faeldon’s Chief-of-Staff, Anderson.

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