Cebu News

CSC orders reinstatement of former Cebu customs chief

Mitchelle L. Palaubsanon - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines — The Civil Service Commission has ordered the reinstatement of the former Bureau of Customs Port of Cebu district collector, Atty. Elvira Cruz.

The CSC denied the motion for reconsideration filed by the bureau.

“The present motion for reconsideration shows that BOC failed to submit evidence which would materially affect the subject decision nor raised any valid reason to warrant the setting aside of the questioned decision. Thus, the Commission finds no cogent reason to reverse CSC decision No. 21001 dated January 12, 2021,” said CSC chairperson Alicia dela Rosa-Bala in her five-page decision dated April 6, 2021.

The CSC chairperson added that the motion for reconsideration of BOC, Department of Finance is denied while the CSC decision No. 21001 stands.

CSC decision No. 21001 has granted the appeal of Cruz and declared Customs Personnel Order No. B-11-2019  dated January 10, 2019 issued by then Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero reassigning the latter from district collector of Port of Cebu to Monitoring Unit not in order.

In the same order, BOC is directed to restore Cruz to her position as district collector of the Port of Cebu.

In its motion for reconsideration, the BOC stated that the reassignment of Cruz was justified and her reassignment did not violate her right to security of tenure.

Cruz has cried foul over her reassignment which prompted her to file an appeal before the CSC.

It can be recalled that Guerrero reassigned Cruz to another position after she was found liable for committing gross negligence on her alleged involvement in the release of the illegally withdrawn heavy equipment and motor vehicles on May 27, 2018 on board M/V Tiong Woon Ocean 18 that arrived at the Port of Cebu on March 22, 2018 from Brunei and was initially docked in Liloan port but was later transferred to Pinamungajan, Cebu.

The Intelligence and Investigation Service of BOC found Cruz to have committed such offense and forwarded their findings to the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission for further investigation and on February 21, 2019 found her to have committed the said offense and the latter on August 28, 2021 recommended to the Office of the President to find Cruz guilty of the said offense.

However, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea of the Office of the President in a decision dated January 21, 2020, dismissed the administrative complaint against Cruz.

Medialdea likewise directed PACC to conduct a far more thorough investigation and make a definitive finding as to who allowed the unlawful withdrawal of the imported goods from the custody of BOC. — GMR (FREEMAN)

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