The Daily Manila Shimbun


In privilege speech, Lacson details range of alleged bribery in Customs

August 23, 2017

Senator Panfilo Lacson Jr named officials in the Bureau of Customs who are allegedly receiving bribes and the ones reportedly giving brides in a privilege speech at the Senate Wednesday. Named by Lacson, who cited sources, were nearly all officials in the Bureau of Customs, starting with outgoing Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon, as alleged recipients of bribes. Named by Lacson as recipients of tara or payola at the Bureau of Customs were Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon, Deputy Commissioner Teddy Raval - Intelligence Group (IG), Deputy Commissioner Ariel Nepomuceno -Enforcement Group (EG), Deputy Commissioner Gerardo Gambala of the Command Center, Deputy Commissioner Natalio Ecarma III of Revenue Collection Monitoring Group (RCMG),  Deputy Commissioner Edward James Dy Buco of Assessment and Operations Coordination Group (AOCG), Director Neil Estrella - Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service [CIIS] (alleged to collect also for the Office of the Commissioner [OCOMM] together with Chris Bolastig), Zsae de Guzman - Chief, Intellectual Property Rights Division, Larribert Hilario of Risk Management Office (RMO), Joel Pinawin, OIC Chief, Intelligence Division of the BOC (one of the alleged collectors of Director Estrella), Director Milo Maestrecampo - Import and Assessment Service (IAS), Grace Malabed, Acting Chief of the Account Management Office (AMO),  Alvin Ebreo, Director Legal Service under Revenue Collection Monitoring Group (RCMG), all section heads, appraisers and examiners in the formal entry division in both the MICP ( Manila International Container Port) and POM ( Port of Manila), Athena Dans of the Informal Entry Division MICP,  all section heads, appraisers and examiners in the informal entry division in the Port of Manila, MICP & POM Sections 1, 9, 10, & 15 chief appraiser and examiner Citing sources, Lacson detailed the alleged bribe givers as: Tina Yu, Jerry Yu,  Manny Santos,  David Tan,  Jude Logarta, Eric Yap, Edvic Yap, Ruben Taguba/Mark Taguba, Noel Bonvalin,  John Paul Teves,  Gerry Teves,  Joel Teves,  Jan Jan Teves,  Ringo Teves, George Tan,  Diogenes "Dennis" De Rama,  Henry Tan,  Bim Castillo,  George Wee, Atty. Veneer Baquiran,  Johnny Sy, Armando "Burog" Tolentino and Ruel Tolentino,  "Kimberly" Gamboa, Bobot Sison  Marty Pimentel of Cebu,  a certain "Eunice" of Davao,  Jun Diamante, Vic Reyes, Gerry Yap, Arnold Saulong, Hope Arnulfo Saulong,  Boy Sabater,  Nero Andal,  Lea Cruz, Aying Acuzar / Eduardo Dio Rey Tubig, Ruel Sy, Frank Wong,  Chi Men,  Jen Yu,  Grace Bisaya, Arthur Tan,  Charlie Tan of Davao Group, and Anthony Ng. Drawing on sources inside and outside customs, Lacson said: "The share of each office or person within the Bureau can range from a low of P200 to a high of P15,000 per container. Believe it or not, officials from the top offices of the Bureau down to those who monitor the "Gates" and "X-Ray" have their share in the tara." For weeks, the Senate has been investigating at how shabu estimated at six billion pesos entered unchecked into the Philippines. "Our quest to dig up how 604 kilos of shabu neatly hidden in five (5) cylindrical roller printing machines from China managed to slip under the BOC officials' noses has opened up a whole cylinder of worms," he said. Lacson said this is why "the drug problem cannot be solved by focusing on the demand reduction effort alone" . "If our frontline government agency called the Bureau of Customs would allow, consciously or otherwise the convenient smuggling of tons of shabu into our country, it is impossible to win the battle against illegal drugs, simply because the supply reduction side of the anti-drugs strategy is failing miserably," said Lacson. "It is like water from a faucet. Illegal drugs will continue to enter the country, tons and tons of illegal drugs." he added. Lacson said "a total of 390 to 490 containers per day or 1,950 to 2,450 containers weekly are being facilitated by the so called "Big Players" broken down as follows:" 1. 100-110 containers - David Tan 2. 80-100 containers - Davao Group 3. 80-100 containers - Manny Santos 4. 80-100 containers - Teves Group 5. 50-80 containers - "Kimberly" Gamboa "The "Tara" System, Mr. President, shows that there is a systemic corruption in the Bureau. In fact, with almost every office and official receiving their share of "Tara', the Bureau can give the Mafia stiff competition," said Lacson. "Tara" refers to the payoff given to officials. President Rodrigo Duterte accepted the resignation of Faeldon as customs commissioner. He will be replaced by Isidro Lapena, the current director general of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency. DMS