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Customs chief returns interim CIIS chief to PDEA, relieves 8 district directors

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By Betheena Kae Unite

Customs Commissioner Isidro Lapeña confirmed Tuesday that he has relieved eight district commanders under the Customs Intelligence Investigation Service (CIIS) and sent its interim director Wilkins Villanueva back to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).

“Director Wilkins returned back to the PDEA because he was needed there. PDEA needs more men, especially they were left on their own (in the drug operations),”Lapeña said in a press briefing at the Port of Manila Tuesday afternoon, the same day when President Duterte ordered the Philippine National Police back to the anti-drugs campaign but with the PDEA still in the lead.

SEIZED CONTRABAND Customs Commissioner Isidro Lapeña shows members of media part of the P17 million worth of smuggled goods from China that were intercepted in Manila. Lapeña has relieved eight Customs district commanders. (Czar Dancel | Manila Bulletin)

SEIZED CONTRABAND Customs Commissioner Isidro Lapeña shows members of media part of the P17 million worth of smuggled goods from China that were intercepted in Manila. Lapeña has relieved eight Customs district commanders. (Czar Dancel | Manila Bulletin)

“It is a mutual understanding of the head of PDEA and me. He (Villanueva) understands that he needs to be back at the PDEA,” the commissioner said.

Lapeñahad earlier issued a warning to CIIS personnel who fail to render intelligence reports over the past three months. The decision to move Villanueva from the BOC to the PDEA “was not because of low performance,”Lapena said. “It was still too early to say (about his performance in the bureau), kasi two months pa langsiya,” he added.

Vilanueva was picked by Lapeña to lead the CIIS when he assumed office in the Bureau of Customs last August.

Lapeñasaid the eight CIIS district commanders were relieved due to “non-performance” of duty. Some of them were sent back to the PDEA, he said. He did not, however, identify them.

“They were moved. I want better results from them as we go along. That is what I have been saying, one-strike policy. When they are not doing their duties properly, they will get it,” Lapeña warned.

“They are supposed to be giving information because that is their job but the information that I received came from other sources which turned out to be positive. In Cebu, 160 container vans were all positive but it did not come from the CIIS,” he added.

The commissioner issued a warning anew to all officials in the bureau.

He said there will be more relieving of posts in the future. “We do not care who they are. Kakilala man o hindi, I do not care. Pagkakakilalako at maliyungginagawaniya, dapatsiyaangmahiya. (Whether I know him or not, I do not care. If I happen to know him and he is doing the wrong thing, he should be ashamed),” Lapeña warned.

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