Customs chief decries ‘smear campaign’
Customs Commissioner Ruffy Biazon on Thursday belied reports that several undermanned ports from the Visayas and Mindanao are being used by syndicates as hubs for smuggling, especially of rice from China and Vietnam.
Biazon, in a statement, said the allegations that Customs officials are sleeping on their jobs are not backed by evidence.
“The people behind this smear campaign are pushing heaven and earth to tarnish my reputation,” said Biazon.
He said the intensified campaign against all forms of smuggling has resulted in the confiscation of millions of pesos worth of smuggled rice and other agricultural products.
He said attempts to smuggle rice into the country are being monitored by his men and those saying the campaign is failing could be those being hurt by the antismuggling campaign.
“If our reinvigorated task forces are sleeping on the job, why are we able to confiscate millions of pesos worth of smuggled rice?” Biazon said.
The Customs bureau recently canceled the rice import accreditation of several cooperatives as part of the bureau’s campaign against rice smuggling.
These are Conquistar Marketing, Dream the Dream Marketing, Happy Morning Enterprises, Kakampi Multi-Purpose Cooperative, Kapatiran Takusa Multi-Purpose Cooperative, Malipampang Concerned Citizens Multi-Purpose Cooperative, Pinambaran Farmers Producers Cooperative, Samahang Magsasakang Kapampangan at Katagalugan Multi-Purpose Cooperative, Thunder Glutch Marketing, Ugnayang Magbubukid ng San Isidro Inc., Vita Rose Marketing, Dragon Clash Enterprises, Masagana Import Export and King Casey Trading.