Military at Customs: ‘Civilian rule still supreme’ – DOJ chief
Placing the Bureau of Customs (BOC) under the control of the Armed Forces of the Philippines does not violate civilian rule, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said Monday.
Guevarra said that when President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the takeover, he had the power of supervision and control over the entire executive department and was “duty-bound to ensure that all laws be faithfully executed.”
He also asserted that civilian rule “remains supreme over the military” because the BOC chief, retired General Rey Guerrero, is now a civilian.
“The BOC chief is a civilian; the BOC is under the Department of Finance (DOF); and the DOF is under the president. Civilian rule remains supreme over the military,” Guevarra said in a statement.
The Justice secretary said that the placing of the BoC under military control was only a temporary measure to stop illegal drugs from entering the country.
“Putting the bureau of customs under the watchful eye of the AFP is a temporary measure to ensure that massive entry of illegal drugs, which threatens public safety, is immediately stopped,” Guevarra said.
Duterte announced on Sunday evening that the military will be taking over the operations of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) temporarily due to corruption at the bureau.
The BOC has been drawing flak due to the alleged smuggling of P11 billion worth of shabu that supposedly slipped through security screening.