Solon: Customs officials ‘smelled crisp bills, not crystals’
Was it incompetence or connivance?
This was the angle pursued by Surigao del Norte Second District Representative Robert Ace Barbers who on Tuesday blasted Bureau of Customs (BOC) officials for letting the P6.4-billion illegal drugs from China sneak through the agency’s express lane.
“Is the credit for the ‘raids’ really theirs (Customs official) to take? In the first place, those drugs have passed right under their very noses, either undetected due to their gross incompetence or because their noses can only smell crisp bills and not crystals,” Barbers said during the House Committee on Dangerous Drugs hearing on the smuggling of the 605 kilos of high-grade methamphetamine hydrochloride, also known as shabu.
Barbers, chairman of the committee, also took swipe at Customs officials for playing the blame game on the incident.
“But hey, only in the Philippines as they say, our Customs officials are quick to pin the blame on another qualified official under their command and hand-picked by them whose fault is that he wears a different uniform,” he said.
The lawmaker said the committee will dig further into the “possible connivance and link” between the BOC officials, brokers, and importers in the smuggling, and the “possible attempt to cover-up” to protect drug smugglers. IDL
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