MANILA – The Bureau of Customs (BOC) has pledged commitment to cleanse its ranks of crooked individuals by signing a manifesto with the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) as a witness.
The manifesto, signed on March 30, is aimed at supporting the government’s anti-corruption initiatives which will be supported by the bureau’s internal culture change and cleansing initiatives such as the enrollment of the BOC to the Performance Governance System (PGS).
“We reiterate our commitment in the BOC to cleanse its ranks and weed out unscrupulous individuals,” BOC Commissioner Rey Guerrero said in the virtual ceremony.
In the Laging Handa briefing on Tuesday, PACC Chairman Greco Belgica said all BOC officials down to the examiners and appraisers have expressed support to fight corruption during the signing of the manifesto.
“Kung mahuli namin na nag-i-involve pa sa korapsiyon, sila ay voluntarily magri-resign sa kanilang puwesto. At kung hindi man nila itutuloy iyan, eh pagri-resign-in po natin sila. Ire-report, paiimbestigahan at kakasuhan pa sa Ombudsman (If proven that they are still involved in corruption, they will voluntarily resign. And if they will not resign, we will force them to resign. They will be reported, investigated, and charged in the Ombudsman),” Belgica said.
Belgica warned that if these unscrupulous individuals in the BOC will not stop their illegal activities, he will personally report them to President Rodrigo Roa Duterte.
“At sinisigurado ko po na kung magpapatuloy ang mga taong ito sa mga nakasanayan nila noon, ipapaabot po natin sa Pangulo iyan at pasisikatin naman natin sila sa programa ni Pangulo sa Talk to the People. Kung gusto nilang marinig ang kanilang pangalan doon eh ituloy po nila (I will make sure that if they will continue with their illegal activities, I will report them to the President and we will make them famous in the President’s Talk to the People. If they want to hear their names, they can continue their illegal activities),” he said.
In August last year, Duterte branded the BOC as “very troublesome office” historically due to corruption.
Duterte made the statement after Guerrero fired his own chief of staff, Teodoro Jumamil, due to allegations of corruption.
Earlier, Duterte also announced the dismissal of 64 BOC personnel amid concerns about an attempt to conceal alleged PHP1 billion worth of shabu in a shipment that arrived at the Manila International Container Port in January 2019.
Guerrero expressed optimism that with the bureau’s move to modernize its facilities and systems, corruption will no longer have a place in the BOC.
He admitted that eliminating corruption in the BOC would be difficult but with God’s help and by His grace, “we will do it.” (PNA)