The most graft-prone government agency may also be a place where paranoia is rampant.
Staff from the Bureau of Customs (BOC) sweeping inside the room of Deputy Commissioner for Intelligence Group Jesse Dellosa found a listening device planted inside an exhaust fan.
The irony is not lost on Customs watchers, as part of Dellosa’s job is to “spy” on parties believed to be avoiding or underpaying duties and taxes. Instead, whoever placed the bug managed to spy on Dellosa.
Chief Administrative Officer of Public Information and Assistance Division, Charo Logarta Lagamon said a listening device or “bug” was discovered last November, adding that the device was found when Dellosa assumed office in October.
News of the discovery surfaced after Dellosa was named as one of two possible replacements for Ruffy Biazon, who resigned as Customs chief earlier this week.
Instead of appointing a permanent replacement for Biazon, President Benigno Aquino 3rd appointed finance Undersecretary John “Sunny” Sevilla as the temporary head of the agency.
“When DepCom Dellosa assumed last October may nakita naka-plant na some kind of listening device dun sa taas ng exhaust fan sa taas ng ulo ni DepCom Dellosa,” Lagamon said.
She clarified that the device was found only in Dellosa’s office and not the whole Customs.
Because of the incident, Logarta said the DepCom officer has asked the military to help investigate. They are still determining who planted the bug and when.
“It is still for further investigation … for sure, DepCom Dellosa asked help from the military, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). I just don’t know where from the AFP,” Lagamon said.
The discovery of the listening device did not cause any panic at the bureau.
“They are not paranoid or did not get a whole entourage of Security. Normal lang,” she said.
Biazon admitted that he met Sevilla, and they have discussed the projects and programs at the bureau that needs to be reviewed.
“The computerization programs such as the IPCS and NSW2, my proposal to use GPS tracking systems on container vans (enhanced customs transit system), the inspection of containerized cargo at port origin, the vessel tracking system, procurement of x-ray machines for the airports and CCTVs, repair and rehab if output offices the compendium of CAOs/CMOs and Customs Modernization Bills,” Biazon said.
Biazon, a former Muntinlupa City representative, resigned after the Department of Justice filed P1.95-million graft charges against him in connection with the P10 billion Priority Development Assistance Fund scam.