Intel fund scandal looms over BOC as P19M in goods seized in De Oro
CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY—The antismuggling operations of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) continued here on Wednesday as another scandal loomed over how P17 million in intelligence funds was used during the tenure of former Customs chief Alberto Lina.
Following an operation on Wednesday, Customs officials in this city seized five shipping containers that yielded untaxed luxury vehicles and spoiled pork, among other goods.
The confiscation came as a former Customs official asked the Commission on Audit (COA) to investigate where at least P17 million in intelligence funds released to the bureau during Lina’s term as BOC chief was used.
The source, a former BOC intelligence official who asked that he not be named for security reasons, said from 2015-2016 the bureau was allotted P17 million in confidential funds, but its intelligence group, headed by former Armed Forces of the Philippines chief Jessie Dellosa, received only P750,000.
The official said the former BOC chief should be made to account for the funds and the COA should audit its use.
Sought for comment, Lina said the COA should be the one to say if the fund had been misused.
“It’s confidential, we will answer it in COA. Ask COA because they’re the ones who will investigate,” Lina said in a phone interview.
Despite the meager budget given to the intelligence group (IG), the former official said it achieved more accomplishments than the office of Lina and their predecessors that had access to the intelligence funds.
“These accomplishments (of IG) are good for 40 years,” the source said.
In this city, the head of the Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS) division for Northern Mindanao said the goods seized on Wednesday were worth at least P19 million.
The contents of the containers, according to Northern Mindanao CIIS chief Alvin Enciso, had been either not properly declared, not covered by import documents or contained banned items.
Two of the containers came from Korea and yielded used clothing and bedding while two other containers contained pork of various cuts from France and The Netherlands.
The fifth container was loaded with three vintage Mercedes Benz cars from the United States but its entry had not been covered by proper import documents, Enciso said. Jigger Jerusalem, Inquirer Mindanao and Tina Santos in Manila
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.