BUREAU of Customs (BoC) commissioner, Isidro Lapeña has ordered the “suspension” of the hiring of a licensed customs broker who signed and processed the “illegal release” last March of 105 containers at the Port of Manila.
“I’m holding his appointment for further checking, especially his involvement in the 105 containers (scandal),” Lapeña told this writer in a message.
The customs chief is referring to Mohammad Salman Amerol, who is among those expected to be formally sworn into customs service by Lapeña during today’s flag-raising ceremony together with other promoted customs officials.
Lapeña said there was prior “record check” on Amerol but that he is withholding the appointment until the entire matter has been clarified.
This writer chanced upon the name of Amerol and the other promoted customs officials while browsing the bureau’s ‘Virtual Library’ where all customs orders, memos and circulars are posted online in a post dated September 14, 2018.
Based on the post, Amerol has just been “promoted” by Lapeña to the position of “COO 1” (customs operations officer) and that he has been “employed” by the BoC since 1998.
However, the entire post was apparently taken down, with only the post for September 12, referring to the official exchange rate to be used by the BoC for this week, becoming the “last” post available for viewing by the public as of yesterday.
Records show that one ‘Mohammad Salman Amerol’ was among those criminally charged for the incident by the bureau before the Department of Justice last April 6, 2018, together with two officials of the POM’s arrastre operator, Asian Terminal Inc. (ATI), namely: PoM operations manager, Steve Realuyo and shift manager, Darwin Dalmacio.