CDC official linked to technical smuggling

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CLARK Freeport, Pampanga: A top official of the Clark Development Corp. (CDC) is being linked to the anomalous entry into the freeport zone of four 20-footer container vans loaded with imported and highly-taxable equipment for the use of a Vibro Crusher Plant.

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The plant is used to quarry and processed sand in Sacobia River located inside the zone.

Documents obtained by The Manila Times showed that the controversial plant is not even a license locator as shown by an inter-office memorandum signed by Edwin Bacay, officer-in-charge of the Land Preservation Office (LPO).

The memorandum stated that the CDC Special Resources Department (SRD) has not facilitated nor approved of any vibro plant within the freeport zone.

The same memorandum likewise revealed that the four 20-footer container vans brought the materials and equipment at the bank of Sagobia River without documents presented.

Such deliveries should have an import and bringing out permits before they are allowed entry and exit. It must also have an import entry filed with the customs bureau and duties and taxes paid if the   shipment is brought in to the freeport.

Based on the logbook entry of Pat. Jose Esguerra, the guard assigned in the Negrito Gate post, the container vans with plate numbers RED-562, RBM-671, RGN-974 and RGR-803 were allowed entry on November 12, 2013  on orders  a certain CDC official using a “Bravo Fox” radio call sign.

Bravo Fox,  reliable sources said, is allegedly the call sign of retired Brig. Gen. Ricardo Banayat, head of CDC Public Safety Department (PSD).

“In short, Banayat has authorized the entry of the imported and highly-taxable materials and equipment and  also allowed the plant’s illegal operation,” the source pointed out, adding that  “Bravo Fox “ obviously did it with the blessings of a higher CDC  authority.

The plant reportedly operated for two weeks before its quarrying operation was stopped,  but the  plant equipment remain on the site.

According to the memo of the LPO chief, the material and equipment were being secured by blue guards  hired by the  Huasheng Mining Corporation (HMC).

The memo also said that HMC, through a certain Mr. Bowen Huang, has sent a proposal to the CDC marketing department to establish a vibro sand and screening plant project at the Sacobia area but was disapproved.

It was also revealed that HMC is not a registered locator of CDC. As such, no import permit and bring-in permit were issued covering the entry of vibro plant materials and equipment.

But despite the memorandum detailing the plant’s illegal activity, a back hoe was again allowed passage in the area on November 25, 2013.

“The entry of highly taxable equipment without the necessary permits and clearance is a form of technical smuggling,” the source pointed out.

CDC spokesman Angelo “Sonny” Lopez, in a phone interview, has denied any smuggling activities inside the free zone.

He said the CDC management has already addressed the vibro plant issue and has since stopped its quarrying operations.

But when asked if  “Bravo Fox” and Banayat is one and the same person, Lopez did not confirm nor deny it.

“I’ll have to check on that. I’ll get back to you,” Lopez said.

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