Sotto: ‘Drastic measures’ needed in Customs
Even Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III believes that “drastic measures” are needed to “finally crack the whip” in the Bureau of Customs (BoC).
Sotto said this on Monday after President Rodrigo Duterte temporary placed the BoC under military control.
“It will be very interesting how things turn out in [the] BoC with this move,” the Senate leader said in a text message to reporters.
“I believe drastic measures are necessary to finally crack the whip in the bureau,” Sotto added.
In a speech in Davao City on Sunday, the President said the Armed Forces of the Philippines would run the BoC until the government finds a way to effectively address the corruption problems within the agency.
“They will be replaced, all of them, by military men. It will be a takeover of the Armed Forces in the matter of operating, in the meantime, while we are sorting out how to effectively meet the challenges of corruption in this country,” Duterte said.
“I want to put on notice everybody in the Bureau of Customs, they are all in floating status. Maybe start again working, but I said, they are all floating status,” he added.
The BoC has been hounded by controversies, the latest of which were the P6.4 billion and P11 billion worth of alleged smuggled shabu during the time of then Customs chiefs Nicanor Faeldon and Isidro Lapeña, respectively.
Both Faeldon and Lapeña happened to come from the military. /je
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