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Some senators think Lapeña is right person to head Bureau of Customs

/ 06:08 PM August 22, 2017
Isidro Lapeña

PDEA director Isidro Lapeña is the new Bureau of Customs chief (File photo by NIÑO JESUS ORBETA / Philippine Daily Inquirer)

Some senators think President Rodrigo Duterte chose the right person to replace Nicanor Faeldon, a former Marine captain, at the helm of the Bureau of Customs (BOC).

Duterte announced on Monday night that he had finally accepted Faeldon’s resignation amid the P6.4 billion drug shipment controversy hounding the agency.

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Duterte tapped Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) chief Isidro Lapeña, a former police general who’s also a Davaoeño, to take over the BOC leadership.

A day after the announcement, Sen. Panfilo Lacson, former national police chief,  said he would vouch for Lapeña’s integrity.

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“I personally know him, and I can personally vouch for him,” Lacson told reporters at the Senate on Tuesday.

Lacson said he believes Lapeña’s reputation would not be easily tarnished even if he would lead the BOC, perceived by many as one of the most corrupt agencies in the country.

“I just hope hindi siya kainin ng sistema doon,” Lacson said. “But you know, beterano na rin ito. Alam ko na baka mahirapan sila na ma-influence itong tao na pumasok sa corrupt activities sa BOC. I just hope, baka siya ang kailangan doon.”

Senate Majority leader Vicente Sotto III also thinks Lapeña’s a good choice to lead the BOC.

“Kung gusto natin mag-concentrate sa smuggling ng illegal drugs ay bagay na bagay si Lapeña doon,” he said in a separate interview.

From the time Lapeña was a cadet at the Philippine Military Academy, Sotto said he had no allegations of corruption and was never involved in any controversy.

“So I think he is a good choice so hopefully he will be able to shape it up,” he said.

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Meanwhile, Sens. JV Ejercito and Gregorio Honasan wished Lapeña well in his new assignment, which Ejercito described as “one of the most challenging government position.”

“Ilang dekada na ang problema ng Bureau of Customs. So I wish the good commissioner all the luck,” Ejercito said in an ambush interview.

Ejercito also supported the decision to kick out Faeldon from Customs because “he became too hot already to handle for the President.”

Honasan, on the other hand, said: “Well I wish him well. Hindi ’yan mababaw ah.” /atm

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TAGS: Bureau of Customs, Gregorio Honasan, Isidro Lapeña, JV Ejercito, Nicanor Faeldon, Panfilo Lacson, Vicente Sotto III
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