• Senate panel orders arrest of absentee resource person linked to Customs ‘tara’


    THE Senate blue ribbon committee ordered on Monday the arrest of one of the individuals named by Customs “fixer” Mark Taguba whom he has linked to the “tara” (payoff) system at the bureau.

    At the resumption of the Senate investigation into the corruption at the BOC, Taguba in his presentation mentioned the name of Jojo Bacud as among those asking money from him to ensure that his shipment would be released unhampered.

    Sen. Richard Gordon, chairman of the committee, ordered the immediate arrest of Bacud who has been subpoenaed “for a log time”.

    “We have subpoenaed Jojo Bacud for a long time. Now we will issue an order to the (senate) sergeant-at-arms to coordinate with you to order the arrest of Jojo Bacud. He must be arrested and be brought here in the next hearing,” Gordon told the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) during the hearing.

    Taguba said that Bacud introduced him to retired Colonel Allen Capuyan allegedly known in Customs as “big brother”.

    Taguba claimed that Capuyan, the  assistant general manager for Security and Emergency Services of the Manila International Airport Authority, helped him in facilitating the release of his shipments after his deal with the so-called Davao group ended.

    Taguba also named several Customs officials and other contacts who helped him in the smooth release of his shipments in exchange for cash.

    The Davao group was linked to Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte and lawyer Mans Carpio, President Rodrigo Duterte’s son and son-in-law.

    Both denied their involvement in a Senate hearing. JEFFERSON ANTIPORDA


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