Senate to summon Bureau of Customs, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency execs

June 02, 2019

THE Senate is set to summon the officials of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) in connection with the 140 kilos of illegal drugs, amounting to P1 billion, which was recently smuggled into the country.

According to Sen. Panfilo Lacson, Chairman of the Senate Public Order Committee, he will summon BOC Commissioner Leon Guerrero and two of his classmates in the Philippine Military Academy (PMA), retired Gen. Donato San Juan and Gen. Raniel Ramiro, to the opening of the 18th Congress.

He will also summon PDEA Dir. Gen. Aaron Aquino to have him explain why and how the contraband was smuggled at the Aduana, despite their strict guarding and monitoring of all the shipments arriving in the country, and what is their participation in the controversial auction of illegal drugs.

The senator also wants to know why the officials decided to auction the contraband, instead of confiscating and destroying it, as provided for by the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act.  

“Hindi mo na kailangang pag-isipan pa para makita ang mga butas sa gawa-gawang kwento ng mga opisyal na ito ng mga nasabing ahensiya,” Lacson said.

Officials of BOC and PDEA claimed that they intentionally auctioned off the contraband and used them as bait to draw out and arrest the real importers of the illegal drugs, but the senator did not buy this, saying it’s unbelievable and a deception of the public.

Lacson stressed that such a move was not only illegal but also stupid, as the purported drug importers knew the auctioned goods were thoroughly inspected for contraband.

Guerrero is the third commissioner appointed by President Duterte to the BOC, replacing retired P/Gen Isidro Lapena and former Philippine Marines officer Nicanor Faeldon, who were both hounded with controversies in connection with the smuggling of multi-billion pesos worth of shabu.

Guerrero is a member of PMA class 1984 while Lapena graduated from the military academy in 1975, and PDEA chief Aquino is a graduate of PMA class 1985.