SENATOR Panfilo “Ping” Lacson on Wednesday hit the Bureau of Customs (BoC) for allegedly maintaining the “tara system” despite the exposes against it and the frequent changes of its leadership.
“Despite my expose on the massive corruption inside the Bureau of Customs, much to my dismay, I was informed just recently that the Tara System has not been, by any chance, suppressed. Worse, for many Customs officials, it remains business-as-usual,” Lacson revealed in his privilege speech.
He named the Office of the Commissioner, Intelligence Group, Enforcement Group, Risk Management Office and the Import and Assesment Service which continue to receive “tara”.
“My sources confirm that the following departments/sections in the Bureau of Customs continue to take their ‘tara’ per container supposedly distributed as follows: for the Office of the Commissioner, an average of P5,000 per container plus 10% of the collections of each section/office directly under OCOM; P3,000 for Intelligence Group; P1,000 to P2,000 for the Enforcement Group; P3,000 for the Risk Management Office; and P2,000 to P3,000 for the Import and Assessment Service,” the senator claimed.
But Lacson clarified that based on the information reaching him, Customs Commissioner Rey Guerrero remains clean of the illegal operations.
“Kung kani-kanino napupunta ang nasabing mga ‘tara’ for his office or the Office of the Commissioner, I will leave it to Gen. Guerrero to investigate and find out,” Lacson said.
Lacson also denounced the latest shabu shipment at the BoC of 276 kilos of illegal drugs which entered the Manila International Container Port. Its consignee is the Wealth Lotus Empire Corp while the people behind it was Chinese national Zhijian Xu, alias Jacky Co, who is wanted in China and also involved in kidnapping operations in the Philippines.
The senator likewise hit the BoC and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) for auctioning the billions of pesos worth of shabu that was later on discovered in a warehouse in Malabon City.