By BEN ROSARIO
The House Committee on Ways and Means has asked the Department of Justice and Office of the Ombudsman to conduct an investigation for the filing of possible criminal and administrative charges against former Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon and 47 other Bureau of Customs (BoC) men and private individuals.
In an 82-page committee report, the House panel chaired by Quirino Rep. Dakila Carlo Cua said the government has lost P43.8 billion in revenues from July 2016 to July 2017, a period of just one year, due to massive graft and corrupt activities in the BoC.
Cua said crooked BoC officials, on the other hand have amassed over P7.7 billion in grease money during the same period.
“In this regard, it is not surprising that the Bureau missed its collection target by P10 billion during the first seven months of 2017. It being able to collect only P246.98 bilion of its P257 billion target,” the committee report said.
The House panel has declared that the motu propio it conducted into the smuggling of R6.4 billion high grade shabu opened a can of worms that exposed massive graft and corruption, acts of bribery and inefficiency in the way the BOC is being run.
The 75-man House body has also recommended the BOC’s abolition to pave
the way for the creation of two separate agencies that would divide the main mandate of the customs bureau.
Cua said they propose the creation of the Bureau of Security Control that will exercise police authority at all ports, port security and communication, inspection and monitoring of cargoes and border control, among others.
On the other hand, the assessment and collection duties and the adoption of modern customs control systems will be assigned to the proposed Bureau of Customs Services.
The House panel is convinced that Faeldon and key BoC personnel he had assigned to sensitive have conspired with unscrupulous importers and customs brokers to deprive government of much-needed revenues.
Faeldon should be investigated for at least nine offenses, including violation of Republic Act 9165 or the Dangerous Drugs Act for delaying and bungling the prosecution of drug cases; graft violation of the Customs Code and gross neglect of duty.