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ON TARGET

Beware of ‘frozen’ BOC exec

/ 05:12 AM September 19, 2017

Newly  appointed Customs Commissioner Sid Lapeña is making a very big mistake if he hires a female customs official as one of his consultants.

She was one of those consigned to the “freezer” or a desk job at the Department of Finance for corruption during Customs Commissioner Bert Lina’s watch.

A lawyer, the woman official was assigned to different ports in the country where she reportedly made a lot of money.

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But she allegedly earned much more as chief of a division which processed outgoing shipments.

The female official and her lover, formerly with the customs police, supposedly conspired to let highly dutiable goods pass customs inspection with minimal payment of duties. Of course, a portion of what would have been paid for the goods went to them as well as customs bigwigs.

This customs official, who has been on floating status after being taken out of the finance department freezer, has apparently ingratiated herself with Lapeña.

* * *

Based on my observation as a columnist and long-time police reporter, female officials or employees are very difficult to bribe.

But when some of them succumb to the lure of money, they end up being more corrupt or abusive.

I’ve seen this happen to a woman police official who was assigned to the Palawan provincial police office in the 1990s.

This official, who prided herself in being a member of a religious group, went around Puerto Princesa City with civilian bodyguards carrying machine pistols. They scared the wits out of residents.

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Because of her religious affiliation, even the chief of the Philippine National Police at that time was afraid of her.

She even berated him on national television, calling him “Bobocop” (dumb cop), a play on the title of the movie, “Robocop.”

And now comes Chief Insp. Remedios Terte, former commander of the Pasay City Police Community Precinct 3.

Terte refused to go after the suspects in the theft of P1.3 million from a parked car on Arnaiz Street even if they had been identified through CCTV cameras in the area.

The suspects, three of them minors, were arrested only after “Isumbong Mo Kay Tulfo” intervened. The suspects claimed a big part of the loot went to policemen.

* * *

A good number of libel cases filed by the Iglesia ni Cristo against this columnist and Inquirer editors had been dismissed by various prosecution offices handling the preliminary investigation.

Thanks but no thanks to Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II who refuses to consolidate the cases into one and have them filed in the Department of Justice in Manila.

Aguirre, it seems, is courting the religious group.

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TAGS: Bureau of Customs, Customs corrutpion, Department of Finance, On Target, Ramon Tulfo, Remedios Terte, Sid Lapeña, Vitaliano Aguirre II
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