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No proof of BOC ‘tara system’ found in Senate probe – Gordon

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The Senate probe on the alleged “tara system” in the Bureau of Customs (BOC) exposed by Sen. Panfilo Lacson ended up without any evidence that could back his allegations on the alleged major players on the alleged payola scheme inside the agency.

Sen. Richard Gordon, blue ribbon committee chair made the admission as he wrapped up the proceedings, a matter that was immediately disputed by Lacson.

“May evidence sa tara, inamin na nga ni (current BOC) Comm. (Isidro) Lapeña na hanggang ngayon me tara pa. Walang nagsasabi na binigyan ko si ganito ng ganitong pera, ‘yun ang problema ko,” he said.

Gordon said he could not provide any explanation as to how tara system is being committed in the BOC.

“It’s not we were not able to find anything. There were no witnesses forthcoming from the principal sponsor of the (speech). I think Lacson nakakaalam at kung me alam sya dapat sinabi noon pa,” he said.

As to why he did not pursue the matter, Gordon said he respect his colleagues saying that he would not want to force Lacson if he does not want to.

“But this was referred to me (my committee) so I have to investigate,” he said.

The senator, however, emphasized that this does not stand to mean that Lacson’s expose has no valid grounds noting that no less than current BOC Chief Isido Lapena himself repeatedly admitted, even in the last hearing, that the tara system exists.

It’s just that there’s not enough evidence against the accused officials that would warrant the committee to make any recommendations as to the appropriate legal action that should be taken against them, he said.