Customs exec linked to ‘tara’ back
CEBU CITY — Customs Commisioner Isidro Lapeña has reinstated a district collector whom Sen. Panfilo Lacson earlier implicated in alleged systematic corruption in the Bureau of Customs (BOC).
Lapeña said Elvira Cruz was reinstated in her post at the BOC Cebu office because she had done a good job during her assignment here.
He clarified that Cruz was relieved not because of corruption allegations but because of her failure to meet BOC Cebu’s target collection in September 2017.
In August last year, former Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon and other BOC officials, including Cruz, were accused by Lacson of receiving payoffs for every shipment smuggled through the country’s major ports — an allegation which Cruz strongly denied.
Over a month after the exposé, Cruz and seven district collectors, along with 30 section chiefs, were relieved from their posts by Lapeña as a way of cleansing the BOC’s ranks.
In a separate interview, Cruz assailed Lacson for dragging her into the controversial “tara,” or bribe system, at the BOC.
“He was just all talk, with no evidence to prove it,” she said, adding that she was never investigated on the matter.
A native of Manila, Cruz was assigned in Cebu in 2008 as deputy collector for operations. She was named district collector in January last year. —Ador Vincent S. Mayol