Ex-customs chief sued over drug mess

January 24, 2019
Isidro Lapeña
Isidro Lapeña

THE National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) yesterday filed criminal and administrative charges against former Customs Commissioner Isidro Lapeña in connection with the shabu shipment seized last year in the Manila International Container Port and over the magnetic lifters found in Cavite that reportedly contained one ton of the illegal drug.

In its complaint before the Department of Justice, the NBI accused Lapeña of violating Republic Act No. 3019 (Anti-graft and Corrupt Practices Act), dereliction of duty, and grave misconduct over his failure to act on the drug shipments.

The NBI cited the failure of Lapeña to file complaints against the consignees, importers and brokers of the two magnetic lifters discovered with shabu at the Port of Manila and the four magnetic lifters found in Cavite.

”Despite the lapse of time, Commissioner Lapeña did not file any case against the shippers or consignees of the magnetic lifters, which should have been done upon discovery of the goods by misclassification, since it is very obvious that the declaration made by the shipper is not the same as what were intercepted,” the NBI’s letter-complaint read.

This was the first time Lapeña was formally charged over the controversial shipment.

The NBI filed the same graft and administrative charges against sacked Port of Manila District Collector Vener Baquiran for his failure to declare the two magnetic lifters at the MICP abandoned, and X-ray Inspection Project head Zsae Carrie De Guzman and two others for allowing the four magnetic lifters in Cavite to pass through the BoC.