Palace defends reappointment of 2 Customs execs
Malacañang defended on Thursday the reappointment of two Bureau of Customs (BOC) officials accused of allegedly accepting bribes from smugglers.
President Rodrigo Duterte has reappointed Ariel Nepomuceno and Teddy Raval as customs deputy commissioners.
Nepomuceno and Raval were among the BOC officials named by Sen. Panfilo Lacson as among those recipients of “tara” or payola at the agency.
Nepomuceno resigned on August 29, after former Customs chief Nicanaor Faeldon tendered his resignation amid the P6.4 billion shabu shipment that slipped past the BOC.
Asked about the President’s reappointment of the two officials, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Duterte might have found them innocent of the allegations hurled against them.
“It must be because there has been thorough investigation conducted by the House, the Senate, the DOJ, and even from within the Palace,” Roque said. “And it must be because these two officials were found not to be in anyway involved in the 6.4 billion scandal.”
Duterte had earlier appointed to the Department of Transportation (DOTr) former Deputy Customs Commissioner Gerardo Gambala as DOTr’s Office of the Transportation Security Director and former Custom’s Import Assessment Services Director Milo Maestrecampo as assistant director general of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP).
The two Customs officials have resigned after they were embroiled in a controversy involving the P6.4-billion shabu shipment in the country. /jpv
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