Palace says Nepomuceno, Raval cleared from drug smuggling
Deputy Commissioners Ariel Nepomuceno and Teddy Raval were reappointed to the Bureau of Customs (BOC) because they had apparently been cleared of involvement in the smuggling of a P6.4-billion shabu shipment into the country, Malacañang said yesterday.
The two officials were among those whom Sen. Panfilo Lacson implicated in his privilege speech on alleged massive, systemic corruption in the BOC where officials received bribes to facilitate the release of goods.
Asked about Nepomuceno and Raval’s reappointment, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said this must have been done “because there has been a thorough investigation conducted by the House, the Senate, the DOJ, and even from within the Palace.”
“And it must be because these two officials were found not to be in anyway involved in the 6.4 billion scandal,” Roque said in a press briefing.
President Duterte reappointed Nepomuceno on November 8, three months after he tendered his courtesy resignation to give new BOC chief Isidro Lapena a free hand to appoint his trusted men to the bureau.
Raval was reappointed to the BOC last month.
Other BOC officials implicated in the P6.4 billion drug shipment had also been able to return to government.
Former mutineers Gerardo Gambala and Milo Maestrecampo were given posts at the Department of Transportation following their resignation from the BOC after being questioned on the release of the shipment. /jpv
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