Dellosa: Dismissal of 8 ex-military officers from BOC ‘political’; ‘House body behind firing’
ZAMBOANGA CITY – The dismissal of the eight retired military officers as customs collectors was based on political concerns, not on merits, Deputy Customs Commissioner Jessie Dellosa said Monday.
“It’s because of politics. They had been victims of politics,” Dellosa, head of the Bureau of Customs intelligence office, said.
He said politicians, including congressmen, whom he did not identify, actually worked hard to have the retired military officers removed from their posts. The reason was unclear, he said.
“Actually, they have long sought their removal as port collectors,” Dellosa said.
Pressed as to who these politicians were, he said they included those at the House of Representatives’ ways and means committee.
Dellosa said the height of the action against them was when Representative Magtanggol Gunigundo scrapped their budget.
The eight retired military officers dismissed from the BOC were Esteban Castro (Clark International Airport), Ernesto Benitez Jr. (Batangas Port), Mario Mendoza (Port of Manila), Elmir dela Cruz (Manila International Container Port), Arnulfo Marcos (Port of Cebu), Jerry Lorescom (Zamboanga), Bonifacio de Castro (Port of San Fernando), and Rolando Ricafrente (Limay port).
Dellosa said calling the sacked port collectors as “illegal and inutile; and bidding them good riddance after terminating them was very uncalled for and unfair.”
“These (military officers) reached the climax of their military careers without charges. They have accomplished and served so much for the country,” a hurting Dellosa added.
Mayor Maria Isabelle Salazar said she was shocked to know that Lorescom was among the port collectors who were fired.
Salazar said the city government even recently commended Lorescom for “increasing their target revenue collection by 300 percent.”
“The city council passed a resolution commending him for the good job, unfortunately, he lost his job very recently. It was a meaningful goodbye,” she said.
Salazar said she could not understand why a high-performing collector such as Lorescom had to be removed from his post. SFM
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.