Duterte directs ‘freezing’ of some Customs officials, employees

President Rodrigo R. Duterte ordered the “freezing” of officials and employees at the Bureau of Customs (BOC), Malacañang said on Wednesday night.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo bared this after Duterte, in a recent speech, said he was set to fire at least four officials from what the former described as a “corruption-ridden” agency.

“The President has directed the freezing of several high-ranking Customs officials and employees, whose names would be disclosed at the appropriate time, as they face administrative and criminal charges, for unlawful activities,” Panelo said in a statement on Wednesday night.

“The President’s latest action underscores this Administration’s zero tolerance on corruption among erring officials,” he added.

Panelo, meanwhile, assured that the Duterte administration would continue to dismantle corruption in the bureaucracy and rid it of corrupt officials and employees.

“The anti-corruption campaign is continuing as it is relentless. No one will be spared,” Panelo said.

On Monday night, Duterte expressed frustration on how the Customs remained to be tainted by dishonest dealings.

“Hindi pa hinto itong corruption. May apat pa (Corruption has not stopped yet. There are four more). In this week, Customs na naman. Ubusin ko talaga ‘yan (it’s Customs. I’ll finish them off),” Duterte said in his speech in Malacañan Palace on Monday night.

Last year, he warned that he would replace all Customs employees with military personnel after billions worth of shabu slipped past the agency.

Despite this, Panelo said Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo “Jagger” Guerrero still enjoys the Chief Executive’s trust and confidence.

Panelo, however, said he had no knowledge of who Duterte would be sacking from the agency. PNA