Sen. Dick Gordon backs Pres. Duterte on "lawless violence" in BOC

Sen. Dick Gordon backs Pres. Duterte on "lawless violence" in BOC

President Rodrigo Roa Gordon has found a loyal ally in Senator Richard Gordon with respect to the seemingly endless corruption in the Bureau of Customs (BOC).

During last Sunday’s pronouncement the President said he would ask the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to make a temporary take-over of the BOC due to the “dirty games” being played within the bureau.

“It will be a takeover of the Armed Forces in the matter of operating, in the meantime, while we are sorting out how to effectively meet the challenges of corruption in this country. With these kinds of games, they are playing, dirty games, I am forced now to ask the Armed Forces to take over," he said.

Senator Dick Gordon (photo credit to owner)

Gordon said that Duterte is right when he said that there is “lawless violence” at the Bureau of Customs (BOC), he stressed that the country now is “under siege” due to a seemingly unrestricted entry of illegal drugs in all of the country’s ports.

Malinaw na lumalabas ngayon, malalim ang (It's clear -- the depth of) smuggling operations, and we are under siege,” he told reporters after the 19th hearing conducted by the Senate panel which he headed. “His (Duterte) ‘lawless violence’ is the entry of drugs, untrammeled, in the BOC that wreaks violence to our people.” Said Gordon in an ambush interview after a hearing of the Senate Committee on Accountability of Public Officers and Investigations (Blue Ribbon)  regarding billions of pesos worth of ‘shabu” smuggled into the country through the watch of the BOC.

When asked to comment on the President’s decision to put the BOC under a military watch, the senator suggested that Duterte should come up with detailed program how the military should do its functions in the bureau.

Ang hinihingi ko lang kay Presidente, i-detalye kung anong gagawin ng mga sundalo (I'm asking the President to detail what would be the soldiers' tasks),” Gordon said.

Gordon explains that the members of the AFP cannot immediately take over customs assessment functions, he suggested that the role of the AFP that can be immediately assume are in caes of apprehensions and opening of the container boxes that have not been withdrawn yet after the prescribed period has lapsed.

Gordon said thousands of “overstaying” container boxes/vans at the Manila International Container Port (MICP) and other ports of entry are possible source of corruption and part of the drug smuggling operations being done in the country.

Lastly, Gordon gave the statement that along with the detailed roles and functions of the members of the AFP is the policy of starting to look for qualified replacements for the erring personnel who are surely to be dismissed from the bureau.

I think the President should come out with a program of activities for the military and at the same time there is a need to provide a Customs academy where it could get replacements for the erring ones," Gordon said.

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Report from PNA

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