Cebu Customs officers to stay for now

By: Delta Dyrecka Letigio October 26,2018 - 10:26 PM

BOC Port of Cebu District Collector Elvira Cruz said that the Customs officials in the Central Visayas region remain unaffected despite the order of President Rodrigo Duterte to relieve all Bureau of Customs (BOC) executive officials.

Cruz said they have yet to receive directives for relief from new Customs chief, General Leonardo Guerrero.

Guerrero, a former chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and administrator of the Maritime Industry Authority, was installed as the new Customs chief by President Duterte during the 117th anniversary of the Philippine Coast Guard in Manila on October 25, replacing Isidro Lapeña, who was transferred to the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda).

“I think there will still be a turnover before the new chief can give us any directive. I think they have already scheduled it,” said Cruz.

She added there were also no instructions from Malacañang regarding the relief of any executive staff in Cebu or in Central Visayas.

“We are waiting for the guidance of Malacañang. As of now, it’s business as usual,” Cruz said.

The President announced on Thursday that he will relieve all executive officials of the BOC following the discovery of drugs hidden in four magnetic lifters in Cavite.

The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) discovered the identical magnetic lifters, consigned to SMYD Trading and believed to have contained an estimated P11 billion worth of shabu.

The President ordered the “freezing” of all section, department and unit heads at the BOC.

“Everyone, out. To the last man, out. The commissioners are out, the department heads, out,” he said.

Lapeña admitted during a hearing on Wednesday conducted by the House committee on illegal drugs, that the four lifters could have contained shabu.

He said he conceded after the Department of Public Works and Highways revealed that the lifters were not functional indicating that they were shipped to the country only for the purpose of carrying contraband.

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