Customs authorities arrest MICP guard and 2 cohorts for corruption
Customs authorities arrested on Saturday an employee of the Manila International Container Port (MICP) and his two cohorts inside the container yard for alleged corruption.
Customs Commissioner Isidro Lapeña identified the suspect as MICP security guard II Allan Pangkalinawan, who is assigned at the Pier Inspection Division. His cohorts, whom Lapeña described as “hao siaos” in the bureau, were identified as Bryan John Cruz and Efren Jaramillo Jr.
Lapeña said the three suspects were apparently collecting between P20 to P200 from drivers of trailer trucks and container vans passing through the Pier Inspection Division (PID) booth.
The Customs chief said he initially received a report of port congestion at the MICP.
“I went there to inspect,” he said. “I traced that it was caused by the slowdown of the container vans, trailer trucks at the pier inspection division booth, which is outside the MICP. It looks like that it was being done intentionally. The line was from the PID booth, it was a bumper to bumper. There was no problem with the x-ray. The long line was the one going to the PID booth.”
Lapeña said he got another report of port congestion Saturday morning so he sent agents from the bureau’s Intelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS) and Enforcement and Security Services (ESS) to the area to check the report.
“There was a long line again caused again by the PID booth. Same spot. They apprehended the suspects facilitating the containers in the yard and collecting money from the truck drivers,” he said.
“This is not ‘tara.’ It’s more of extortion because the slowdown was done in purpose to force truck drivers to give them money,” he added.
Pangkalinawan is apparently paying Jaramillo and Cruz P2,000 per day in exchange for their service in guarding the containers, the BOC said.
A video showing Cruz and Jaramillo assisting Pangkalinawan in the releasing of cargoes was taken by the agents as proof of their activity.
Lapeña directed the CIIS to conduct a thorough investigation on the incident.
“We will build a strong case against them,” he said. “For now, Pangkalinawan will be relieved from office. We have yet to determine where he gets the P2,000 he gives to his cohorts as salary per day. If found guilty of illegal act, he will be removed from service.”
“We still don’t know the source of the P2,000 salary per day, chances are it came from tara or extortion,” added.
In a previous pronouncement, the customs chief said he would give all BOC employees a clean slate but if proven to be guilty: “I will impose one-strike policy.”
“Let this be an eye-opener to all employees to start correcting their ways,” Lapeña said.
The suspects are now in the custody of the BOC.
“Appropriate cases would be filed against them,” Lapeña said. “Other personnel involved that would be implicated here would also be meted with appropriated charges, criminal and administrative.”