MANILA — Senator Antonio Trillanes IV is calling for a new probe into the reported ‘tara’ system or bribery within the Bureau of Customs (BOC).
Trillanes stated this in an email late Sunday after colleague Senator Panfilo Lacson on Wednesday revealed that top officials from the bureau, including ex-Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon, had received millions worth in bribes.
In filing Senate Resolution 474, Trillanes directed the Committee on Ways and Means to probe possible violations in the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act of the Philippines (R.AA. 10863) in connection to the present controversy involving several personalities under the bureau.
He cited how PHP6.4 billion worth of shabu shipment was able to enter the country undetected by the BOC. Moreover, the investigation showed that there was a long-standing bribe system in the Bureau allegedly perpetrated by different players in connivance with BOC officials.
The senator said that these present controversies hounding the BOC are finally shedding light on the rampant corruption in the bureau.
“It is therefore imperative upon the Senate to study and formulate remedial legislation to strengthen existing laws and/or correct implementation loopholes in order to finally carry out reforms in the BOC and to restore the confidence of the public in the said bureau that carries out such a relevant revenue-generating function,” Trillanes said in filing his resolution.
It may be recalled that Senator Panfilo Lacson, in a privilege speech, claimed that Faeldon, upon assuming office, immediately received PHP100 million which was described as “pasalubong.”
He also read out the names of bribe givers or players, collectors or bagmen as well as the breakdown of amounts given.
Faeldon has denied Lacson’s allegations and fired back at Lacson accusing his son and namesake, Panfilo Lacson Jr., of smuggling cement.