• Manila court to rule on Customs officials’ petition

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    THE Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 17 on Friday considered as submitted for resolution the petition of 15 collectors of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) to stop their transfer to a newly-created office under the Department of Finance (DOF).

    The petitioners have asked for a 17-day extension of the 72-hour temporary restraining order (TRO) previously issued by Executive Judge Marino M. Dela Cruz, Jr.

    The Manila RTC issued the TRO citing “extreme urgency” that could violate the rights of the affected Customs collectors.

    The 15 Customs collectors last Tuesday asked for the TRO on their transfer, citing lack of due process and violation of their security of tenure.

    They also filed a case of declaratory relief questioning the validity of Customs Personnel Order (CPO) on their reassignment.

    Under the CPO signed by Customs Commissioner Rozzano Rufino “Ruffy” Biazon last Sept. 17, 27 Customs collectors will be detailed to the Customs Policy Research Office, which was created under Executive Order No. 140 with the task of reviewing tariff and customs administration policies.

    The CPRO is directly under the DOF.

    The CPO states that “all 15 petitioners, together with 12 other collectors of customs, to an advisory capacity of a policy-coordinating body under the guise of reorganization, thus effectively rendering vacant the 27 positions of collectors of customs throughout the country.”

    The 15 Customs collectors argued it was beyond the powers of the Customs commissioner to transfer them to a body outside of the BOC.

    They said their transfer is a scheme to constructively dismiss and demote them.

    PNA

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