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From plunder to graft

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ON TARGET

From plunder to graft

/ 05:30 AM October 19, 2017

Why was the charge of plunder against former Deputy Immigration Commissioners Michael Robles and Al Argosino downgraded by the Department of Justice (DOJ) to the much lesser offense of graft and direct bribery?

On Saturday, I quoted DOJ insiders as saying that Robles and Argosino had to be “saved” at all cost because they might start talking.

I have it on good authority — from text exchanges between persons whose identities I am withholding for now — that Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre knew about the P50-million payoff after it happened.

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Now, we know why.

Sen. Ping Lacson, quoting newly installed Customs Commissioner Sid Lapeña, says Nicanor Faeldon, dismissed customs chief, received P107 million as gift from importers.

That’s old hat as this column had come out with the story when Faeldon was still newly installed commissioner of the Bureau of Customs.

I quoted very reliable BOC insiders but nobody listened.

Had Malacañang lent an ear to the report in this space, that P6.4-billion “shabu” (crystal meth) passing through customs wouldn’t have taken place.

I understand that aside from that shipment, which was discovered later, there were more drug shipments which were not intercepted.

* * *

Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa, perceived by many to be incompetent, often talks beyond his head.

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For instance, Bato asked Vice President Leni Robredo to support the Duterte administration and think of running for president later.

Bato should leave politics to politicians and focus on his job of keeping the peace.

People have cause for worry when generals like Dela Rosa meddle in politics.

* * *

The occupation of Marawi City by terrorists came to an end after snipers from the Army Scout Rangers shot dead Isnilon Hapilon and Omarkhayam Maute.

What happened to the PNP’s Special Action Force (SAF)?

Weren’t SAF troopers trained especially in urban guerrilla warfare and equipped with sophisticated weapons given by the US government?

Oh well, SAF troopers are still policemen and our policemen are among the most undisciplined in the world!

* * *

The brother of a former customs commissioner is the subject of complaints from importers at the Cebu port.

This guy — whose initials are RP — is the exact opposite of his brother, who had a reputation for honesty.

RP delays the release of shipments by questioning their valuation, which is not his job since he is an X-ray technician.

Shipments are promptly released by RP after the importers pay him off, according to my sources at the port.

RP was dismissed from the Philippine Military Academy and was a classmate of PNP chief Dela Rosa.

It was Bato who reportedly recommended him to the customs bureau.

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TAGS: Al Argosion, Bato dela Rosa, Jack Lam attempted bribery, Marawi siege, Michael Robles, Nicanor Faeldon, On Target, Panfilo Lacson, Port of Cebu customs anomaly, Ramon Tulfo, Ronald dela Rosa, Vitaliano Aguirre
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