Latest Stories

2 customs execs tied to smuggling promoted


Two Bureau of Customs (BOC) officials implicated in the disappearance in broad daylight of 1,626 containers while in transit from the Port of Manila to the Batangas City port two years ago were rewarded with higher positions, the Inquirer learned.

Customs Commissioner Rozzano Rufino Biazon promoted Fernandino Tuason as director of the BOC intelligence group in September 2012, while lawyer Floro Calixihan Jr. was promoted last February as deputy of Manila International Container Port Collector Ricardo “Boysie” Belmonte, brother of Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr.

Tuason replaced his boss, Filemeno C. Vicencio Jr., a retiree who was also included in the charge sheet of the National Bureau of Investigation while Calixihan took over Precy Bauzon’s post.

“That is news to me. They have not submitted their papers,” said Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima, who oversees the Bureau of Customs.

The Inquirer tried but failed to reach Biazon for comment. He was not responding to calls or text message sent to his mobile phone.

The BOC is in a flux after President Aquino delivered scathing remarks against the agency in his State of the Nation Address last month.

Biazon and his officers have responded to the lambasting by handing in their resignation papers but only Deputy Commissioner Danilo Lim has so far left the bureau.


Thick face

“Saan kayo kumukuha ng kapal ng mukha? (Where do you get that thick face?)” the President said in his speech, referring to the BOC’s persistent record of corruption and incompetence.

Tuason was chief of the intelligence division and Calixihan was Attorney II of the Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service in May 2012 when they were recommended for prosecution by the NBI in the Office of the Ombudsman.

The NBI accused Tuason and Calixihan—along with 19 other BOC officers, three brokers, three importer consignees and forwarders, and two warehouse owners—of grand conspiracy in the disappearance of 20 container vans on various dates from February to June 2011.

This batch of 20 vans was part of the 1,626 container vans that were reported missing in 2011, which led to the resignation of Angelito Alvarez in September that year.

The NBI investigation showed that Tuason and Calixihan had been alerted about the smuggled goods in the 20 container vans consigned to Eagle Trading.

“But there were no examinations to be performed, spot check or full, by those concerned because after the alert orders were lifted, the 20 container vans were immediately loaded to various trucks and were delivered directly to various destinations as advised by the broker and consignee of the trucking firms,” the NBI said in its filing with the Ombudsman.

“The concerned BOC personnel, aside from intentionally not performing their assigned tasks and responsibilities did not even bother to check the status of the alerted container vans nor did they prepare the necessary postexamination report,” the NBI said.

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Batangas City , Bureau of Customs , Fernandino Tuason , lawyer Floro Calixihan Jr. , Manila International Container Port Collector , Port of Manila , Ricardo “Boysie” Belmonte , Rozzano Rufino Biazon , Smuggling , Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr.

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. US teacher fired over comment on black president
  2. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  3. Filipinos, Dane re-enact crucifixion of Christ
  4. Magnitude-7.5 earthquake shakes Mexican capital
  5. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  6. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  7. Massive infra spending set
  8. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  9. Easter crucifixions draw huge crowds
  10. Korea ferry captain arrested, divers spot bodies
  1. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  2. Suspect in Vhong Navarro mauling tries to leave PH
  3. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  4. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  5. ‘Mom, I love you,’ says text from student on sinking ferry
  6. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  7. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  8. Massive infra spending set
  9. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  10. I’ll follow my conscience on Estrada, says JV Ejercito
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  4. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  5. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  6. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  7. Police rule out foul play in Helena Belmonte’s death as boyfriend is ‘traumatized’
  8. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  9. Model Helena Belmonte wished ‘to slash her wrist and hope to die’
  10. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia


  • 16 suffer burns in Batangas sugar factory accident
  • Angat level drops; cloud seeding set
  • Indigenous aspiration in Bangsamoro
  • Banahaw continues to lure pilgrims, trekkers
  • Passion of Christ moves survivors
  • Sports

  • Tottenham beats Fulham 3-1 in Premier League
  • Martino defends Messi, takes blame for Barca fail
  • Vettel hoping for resurgence at Chinese GP
  • MLB pitcher donates $100,000 for Sewol ferry victims
  • Hamilton takes pole at Chinese Grand Prix
  • Lifestyle

  • Levine designs womenswear with help from fiancee
  • Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nobel laureate, dies at 87
  • Ford Mustang turns 50 atop Empire State Building
  • Pro visual artists, lensmen to judge Pagcor’s photo contest
  • ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  • Entertainment

  • Why ‘Noah’ can’t dock his ark at Philippine theaters
  • Acclaimed artist goes wild while on holiday
  • Believing in this mermaid
  • Missing Xian
  • Minnie Driver plays devastated mother to a stillborn child
  • Business

  • A workplace of new possibilities
  • Learning by doing: pilgrimage of faith
  • Fiat-Chrysler to produce iconic Jeep in China from 2015
  • US commerce secretary spells out economic facet of ‘pivot to Asia’
  • Italy sells luxury state cars on eBay
  • Technology

  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 17, 2014
  • A humbler Church
  • Deepest darkness
  • ‘Agnihotra’ for Earth’s health
  • It’s the Holy Week, time to think of others
  • Global Nation

  • Cesar Chavez movie sparks memories of Fil-Am labor leaders
  • Filipinos in US poised for success
  • Visas for priests and other faith leaders
  • DOH to continue tracking co-passengers of OFW infected with MERS virus
  • 5 Filipinos with MERS in UAE reported in stable condition
  • Marketplace