The Daily Manila Shimbun


Dominguez confident on Lapena as incoming Customs chief

August 22, 2017

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III expressed confidence on incoming Bureau of Customs (BOC) Commissioner Isidro Lapena. In a forum with the Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines (FOCAP) in Manila, Domingo said the change in the BOC would just be the person who will lead the agency but not in the management. "There is a personal change. But I don't think there will be any change in the management thrust in the agency," he said. "I'm very confident in the new appointee who is Sid Lapena," he added, describing Lapena as "very honest and tough and very straight guy. "So I expect that the improvements will continue and that we will move forward with the current thrust of the agency. I think the agency is shaping up," he said. The BOC is an attached agency of the DOF. Lapena, who is the current director general of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, will replace Nicanor Faeldon whose resignation was accepted by President Rodrigo Duterte. Dominguez clarified that he did not doubt the integrity of Faeldon, who was asked to resign by some of Duterte's allies in Congress due to the alleged corruption in the agency. The Senate and the House of Representatives have been conducting separate investigations into the P6.4-billion worth of shabu from China that passed through the BOC's check. Dominguez credited Faeldon and the BOC for the confiscation of fake stamps of cigarette manufacturing Mighty Corp., resulting to the latter's P25-billion settlement with the government. "He (Faeldon) conducted four raids. So I have no doubt about his honesty and sincerity," he said. Meanwhile, Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said Duterte has chosen Lapena as the incoming BOC chief because he is honest and trustworthy. "I think the president made clear that the reason why he chooses men especially from the military, who happened to be coming from the military, is the fact that they are very efficient --- they're quite efficient, and they are trustworthy as far as the President is concerned," he said in a press briefing. Asked if Duterte has a plan to reappoint Faeldon to another post, he said, "Mr. Faeldon, still maintains the President's trust and I'm sure the President will find situations for him to be of use." Celerina Monte/DMS