BOC offices swept for ‘bugs’
Evelyn Macairan (The Philippine Star) - December 6, 2013 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The Bureau of Customs (BOC) has conducted a sweep in its Manila office after an eavesdropping device was reportedly discovered in the office of deputy commissioner for intelligence Jessie Dellosa.

Customs spokesperson Charo Logarta-Lagamon said the sweeping operation at the BOC was implemented after a listening device was discovered at the exhaust fan near the lighting fixture directly above Dellosa’s chair.

Reports described the bug as measuring one inch by two inches and is said to be activated by a SIM card that could be turned on by just dialing its number.

Lagamon said that up until yesterday, they have no idea who planted the device.

“This is still for further investigation. What I know is they are not sure who did it and when it was planted because it is possible that the bug has been there for a long time already,” she said.

Lagamon could not even say if the spying device was already planted in the office when Dellosa’s predecessor, former Army general Danilo Lim was staying there.

“We do not know how long the bug has been there, if it was put there during the time of Lim or during the transition. His office was vacant for a time after he resigned from the bureau,” she added.

The discovery of a listening device in the IG office reportedly prompted Dellosa to seek help from the military to sweep the offices of the six deputy commissioners.

Apart from the IG office, a team from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) also checked the office of the Customs Enforcement Group, Management Information System and Technology Group, Assessment and Operations Coordinating Group, Internal Administration Group, and Revenue Collection.

So far, Lagamon said there has been no report that other listening devices were found.

When asked why the office of resigned Customs commissioner Rufino Biazon was not swept for bugs, Lagamon replied the Customs chief had his own security measures.

“The commissioner has his own security precaution. Maybe they would check his office the next time around,” she said.

Biazon on Monday tendered his resignation, days after he was named respondent in a malversation complaint in connection with a widening pork barrel scandal.

Biazon, a former Muntilupa congressman, said he decided to quit his post as Customs chief to protect his name and family amid the allegation that he was among the lawmakers who received huge kickbacks from the alleged scam.

President Aquino has picked Finance Undersecretary John Sevilla as officer-in-charge of the bureau.

Biazon, for his part, said he had nothing against Sevilla.

“No one can question the credentials that Sunny Sevilla has in taking on his assignment as officer-in-charge of the Bureau of Customs. Importantly, he has untarnished record and unquestionable integrity,” he said.

“I’m sure he has the trust and confidence of President Aquino. As an undersecretary of finance, his advantage is an already established working relationship with the department and secretary (of finance Cesar) Purisima.”-Paolo Romero

 

 

ARMED FORCES OF THE PHILIPPINES ASSESSMENT AND OPERATIONS COORDINATING GROUP BIAZON BUREAU OF CUSTOMS CHARO LOGARTA-LAGAMON CUSTOMS DELLOSA LAGAMON OFFICE PRESIDENT AQUINO
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