DAVAO CITY, Philippines — President Rodrigo Roa Duterte ordered the Bureau of Customs to stop corruptions inside the graft-laden office and in every ports in the country.
In his speech during the destruction of P61.626 million worth of smuggled luxury vehicles, February 6, Duterte said corrupt practices is the port areas of the country must be stopped.
Addressing himself to the corrupt employees inside the Customs, Duterte said “Huminto kayo, huminto kayo. At least during my time, I plead to you..”
Duterte is aware, smuggling and corruption in the agency has been there for decades, but he is hoping he can stop it, if not totally -to the very least.
“Itong smuggling na ito, this kind of racket has been going on again and again, and again, over a period of centuries. Well, it has to stop,” he said.
Duterte explained that putting the luxury cars into auction would only allow the syndicates to bid for the seized vehicles.
“Ayaw kong ipagbili kasi kung ipagbili ko, consigned to a fictitious person, igagarahe lang ninyo ‘yan diyan… and when the time comes, they are sold to an auction, ‘yung auction diyang opisina, itatawag na rin sa isang sindikato dito, siya lang ‘yan eh,” he said.
(I don’t want to sell it, consigned to a fictitious person, you put it in a garage..and when the time comes, they are sold to auction, in that auction, in the same office, they will call a syndicate, they are the same).
A total of 20 second-hand luxury vehicles were destroyed in Manila, including Lexus, BMW, Mercedes Benz, Audi, Jaguar, and Corvette Stingray.
“However, much remains to be done. The BOC needs to improve its overall revenue collection to meet its target so that the government will have more funds for its priority development programs,” he stressed.
Bureau of Customs Commissioner Isidro Lapeña fired 641 Customs officials and employees since October 2017, but he admitted, corrupt practices still exists.
Lapeña warned his employees, he will not hesitate to fire them and charge them before the court.-Editha Z. Caduaya/Newsline.ph