Taguba bares breakdown of tara, call logs, texts with BOC ‘collectors’
Customs fixer Mark Taguba II revealed on Monday the breakdown of the “tara” or grease money he gave to Bureau of Customs (BOC) “collectors,” showing text messages, withdrawals, and call logs proving the alleged anomalous transactions.
Taguba, appearing before the Senate blue ribbon committee’s hearing into the P6.4 billion worth of shabu shipment that entered the country, revealed that he gave P27,200 of tara per container broken down among several BOC offices.
These offices were the “Import Assessment Services (IAS), Intelligence Group (IG), formal Entry Division, Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS), Enforcement and Security Service (ESS), Assessment and Operational Coordinating Group (AOCG), X-ray section and other collector.”
Taguba added that the total tara he gave to the agency was P489,600.
He also showed an exchange of message with a certain “Mae” who he said was the collector of Customs Intelligence officer Joel Pinawin.
Pinawin immediately denied he had transactions with Taguba, saying he only talked with him once when they conducted an operation in Baclaran.
“Wala po akong inuutos na maningil si Mae Escueto para sa akin,” Pinawin said. “Nagkausap lang po kami nung may hinuli kami sa Baclaran.”
(I didn’t order Mae Escueto to collect money for me. I only talked to Taguba when we arrested someone in Baclaran.)
In response to this, Taguba showed his call logs with Pinawin.
“Nagkakausap po kami. March 27 to 31 may call logs po kami,” said Taguba.
(We’ve spoken to each other. We have call logs on March 27 to 31.)
The Senate committee chair Senator Richard Gordon, meanwhile, subpoenaed the alleged collector named “Mae” and warned her to appear before the Senate probe. /je
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