Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said the Chief Executive had made it clear to the BOC personnel, who were summoned to Malacañang last Thursday, that he would not tolerate corruption in the agency.
Customs execs given chance to defend selves
Christina Mendez (The Philippine Star) - July 20, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — They may have been tagged in alleged corruption, but President Duterte is giving over 50 officials and personnel of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) a chance to defend themselves before the proper forum.

Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said the Chief Executive had made it clear to the BOC personnel, who were summoned to Malacañang last Thursday, that he would not tolerate corruption in the agency.

“The President has been forthright in telling these Customs officials and employees that corruption has no place under his watch. He told them that, consistent with due process, they will be given their day in court,” he added in a statement issued after the meeting.

He also revealed that Duterte has directed the proper agencies to file administrative charges against the erring BOC officials and staff before the Office of the Ombudsman and for the prosecution panel to push for their immediate suspension from office.

Pending final resolution of the charges, Panelo said the affected personnel will be relieved from their posts and placed on floating status “without authority to act on official matters.”

“(The President) assured them that he would not begrudge them if they would avail of legal remedies to question their removal from office,” he added.

Panelo stressed that the investigation and filing of complaints should “serve as a reminder to all those officials or employees in the government that they cannot escape liability or accountability for their acts of corruption under the Duterte administration.”

Although the President earlier said he is looking to place 64 erring Customs officials and employees on the chopping bloc, only 52 names were identified in a “travel order” issued by BOC chief Rey Leonardo Guerrero. – With Evelyn Macairan, Delon Porcalla

BUREAU OF CUSTOMS
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