Lacson blasts appointment of sacked BOC district collector to higher post
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Panfilo Lacson has assailed the appointment of a sacked Bureau of Customs (BOC) district collector at the Manila International Container Port (MICP) to a higher position in the agency.
Lacson, in a privilege speech Wednesday, expressed doubts on the “leadership and management” of BOC with the appointment of Vener Baquiran, who was relieved from MICP in 2018 over alleged massive “shabu” shipment.
President Rodrigo Duterte appointed Baquiran as deputy commissioner of BOC on March 6.
“The BOC faces another question in leadership and management with the appointment of relieved MICP Collector Vener Baquiran to an even higher post as Customs Deputy Commissioner,” Lacson said.
He pointed out how Baquiran was identified to be one of the “bagmen” in the long list of BOC personnel allegedly receiving payola – also known as “tara – from big players at Customs.
Lacson also pointed out that Bacquiran was a subject of investigations by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and Department of Justice (DOJ), which even recommended filing of charges against the recently appointed BOC official.
“How can the Bureau thoroughly and sincerely address the country’s drug problem if instead of punishing the corrupt or incompetent, or both, this administration is even rewarding these people with other positions in government?,” the senator asked.
“When we tolerate corruption and its perpetrators in the institution, reward incompetence rather than weed out the roots that breed it; the public will start to believe it is a given and Customs officials will start to believe it is a routine,” he added. (Editor: Katherine G. Adraneda)
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