Bureau of Customs (BOC) Commissioner Isidro Lapeña on Monday shrugged off calls for his resignation, noting that his stint as the bureau’s head is up to President Rodrigo Duterte.
“I serve under the pleasure of the President,” he said in a press conference after the inspection of seized illegal rice shipment worth PHP125 million at the Manila International Container Port (MICP) Monday morning.
Lapeña also said there is no communication gap between the BOC and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), in connection with the discovery of four magnetic lifters reportedly containing one ton of shabu estimated to be worth PHP6.8 billion in Cavite.
“I could have alerted all the container vans at that time if I just received that information,” Lapena said.
According to reports, PDEA said that it did not pass the information to the BOC since they have to validate the raw data they received.
Prior to the discovery of the magnetic lifters in Cavite, the BOC and PDEA presented two magnetic lifters containing some 500 kilos of shabu worth PHP4.3 billion seized at the Manila International Container Port (MICP) last August 8.
It was in the same port where the Cavite shipment also came from.
The BOC was able to identify the consignee of the four magnetic lifters as SMYD Trading with office address at 6th floor, Suite 605A Victoria Building, 4239 UN Avenue, Barangay 666, Manila, based on their backtracking investigation. PNA