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Trillanes wants Angara, not Gordon, to lead probe on Lacson’s BoC corruption exposé

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Senator Antonio Trillanes IV is calling for an investigation into the alleged corruption in the Bureau of Customs exposed by Sen. Panfilo Lacson.

Trillanes however preferred the Senate ways and means committee chaired by Senator Sonny Angara, not the blue ribbon panel led by Senator Richard Gordon, to lead the probe in aid of legislation.

“Present controversies hounding the BOC are finally shedding light on the rampant corruption in the said bureau,” he said.

Investigation on the P6.4-billion worth of shabu shipment revealed a long-standing “tara” or payola system perpetuated by different players in connivance with numerous officials of the BOC, further corroborated by the “witness” Mark Ruben Taguba and no less than Lacson, he said.

Lacson, he said, revealed a long list of names allegedly accepting payoffs from players in the bureau which includes the name of resigned BOC Comm. Nicanor Faeldon along with deputy commissioners, members of the command center, collectors and bagmen.

“Based on the exposé of Taguba, he is paying a total of P27,000 per container as ‘tara.’ Multiply this by 10,000 containers per day and 365 days a year, the total money the government is losing amounts to P98.5 billion a year. This is twice the target revenue to be collected if the tax on sugar-sweetened beverages will be imposed,” he said in filing Resolution No. 474 last Aug. 24.

While there had been efforts to constantly update the legislative mandate of BOC through RA 10863 or the Customs Modernization and Tariff Administration (CMTA) Law, which was passed into law in May 30, 2016, such efforts appear to be inadequate,” Trillanes said.

It is therefore imperative upon the Senate to study and formulate remedial legislation to strengthen existing law and or correct implementation loopholes in order to finally carry out reforms in the BOC, the senator said.

Currently, Gordon’s committee has an ongoing investigation on the alleged shabu shipment from China where Taguba revealed those allegedly on the take in the BOC.