AN opposition lawmaker has called for a senate investigation on the ruling party’s alleged P3-billion fund raising operation at the Bureau of Customs (BOC) for the Liberal Party’s 2016 kitty.
Detained Senator Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada on Tuesday filed a resolution directing the Senate Committee on Accountability of Public Officers and Investigations (Blue Ribbon) to look into the allegation that the BOC is being pressured by groups identified with the administration party to raise a P3 billion campaign kitty for the 2016 elections.
In filing Senate resolution 1306, Estrada raised the need to immediately investigate the issue in order to protect public funds from being used by individuals or political groups for their own agenda.
The fund raising allegation surfaced following the resignation of Commissioner John Philip Sevilla, who cited “political pressure” as the reason for his decision to relinquish his post.
The United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) alleged that the BOC head is under pressure from influential groups that wanted to use the agency for their money making schemes, including fund raising activities for the 2016 national elections.
Navotas Rep. Toby Tiangco, interim UNA president, claimed that a faction of the LP is working behind the scenes, putting pressure on government appointees in sensitive positions to contribute to its fundraising campaign.
The LP was quick to deny the allegation and insisted that it does not need dirty money for the 2016 presidential elections.
Senator Sergio Osmena 3rd, in a recent interview, said that such fund raising scheme is not unlikely and those who are in power can use the BOC as source of funds.
Estrada in his resolution also cited the appointment of lawyer Teddy Sandy Raval as director of the Enforcement and Security Services, also known as the Customs police, despite strong objections from Sevilla.
The Senator said the appointment could be part of an effort to augment unlawful collections from illegal traders and unscrupulous business groups for the administration party’s war chest.
“If reports are accurate, the appointment of officials of questionable qualifications and tarnished integrity by the administration during this season when the presidential election is approaching is really doubtful and suspicious,” the resolution read
Estrada, however, admitted having doubts about his resolution being given attention by Senator Teofisto Guingona 3rd, the chairman of the Blue Ribbon committee, because he is a member of the LP.