Military to take over Customs operations: Duterte

The operations of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) will be under the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) while the government is sorting out how to address challenges of corruption, President Rodrigo Duterte said.

President Duterte late last week appointed retired General Rey Leonardo ‘Jagger’ Guerrero, Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) administrator, as Customs chief to replace Isidro Lapeña.

“I told Jagger to take the technical soldiers diyan sa Armed Forces, maybe the technical group of the Philippine Army, the technical group of the Philippine Navy and of the Air Force,” President Duterte said during the birthday/thanksgiving event of former Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano at Marco Polo Hotel, Davao City.

He added that three signatures will be needed before a container will be released from Customs.

“So there will be about three, six eyes there. And they must sign that it could be a Navy or a Coast Guard, something like that,” he said.

“It will be a takeover of the Armed Forces in the matter of operating in the meantime while we are sorting out how to effectively meet the challenges of corruption in this country,” he explained.

“Lahat sila nasa labas and that’s the reason why we cannot just dismiss them and even as we deal the day-to-day reality. Almost all of them there have been – in one way or the other been charged of corruption. Lahat ‘yan sila may kaso,” he explained. “And yet we cannot just move on because we want to be lawfully correct so dahan-dahan lang tayo. But with this kind of games that they are playing, dirty games, I am forced now to ask the Armed Forces to take over.”