Will acting Justice Secretary Alfredo Caguioa act on rampant smuggling at the piers?
This goes on right under the nose of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) authorities, substantiating reports that known big-time smugglers are now major contributors to the campaign fund of some Liberal Party (LP) candidates.
Caguioa touted his “first task,” which is to go after the smugglers, particularly those who have pending cases before the Department of Justice (DOJ).
But observers strongly believe it is improbable for the acting DOJ chief to act against these syndicates at Aduana especially the ones whose illegal operations allegedly have the blessing of some LP bigwigs “to help beef up [the party’s]war chest” for the 2016 polls.
Customs insiders informed me that one firm called the WPC Merchandise Corp., whose brokers are identified as certain “Charice” and “Rogan,” is having a heyday at the piers these days, bringing in hundreds of millions of pesos in contraband every week.
This goes on unabated while Customs Commissioner Alberto Lina turns a blind eye.
A well-placed BOC official told me that WPC imports hundreds of containers of imported tires, plywood, resins, iron, expensive automotive products and sugar into the country without proper permits every week.
“Officials and operatives of the Customs bureau reportedly have been instructed earlier not to alert, or even inspect the cargoes of WPC since it is a major contributor of the LP,” the source said.
WPC “misdeclares” itscargoes to avoid payment of correct taxes and dues, depriving the government of hundreds of millions of pesos each week.
The official said an alias “Jerry U.” is said to own WPC and he is a son of one “Gina U” who is rumored to be very close to the LP’s inner circle of LP standard-bearer Mar Roxas.
In fairness, we are trying to get hold of Mr. Roxas for comment on this serious allegation.
We refuse to believe it but we are wondering why WPC and several other known smuggling firms remain untouchable under Lina’s watch.
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Kid peña coddling illegal online gambling
Another government official who has turned “deaf and blind” is Makati City Mayor Kid Peña whom we’ve been alerting about rampant illegal operations of online casinos in the premier city.
Peña, along with the Makati City Business Permits and Licensing Office (BPLO), has not lifted a finger to stop the operations of the numerous illegal gambling businesses there.
These businesses do not pay taxes, worth billions of pesos a year, neither to the local government nor the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR).
My informants listed some of the online casinos in Makati that do not have permits from the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA) as: Betsson Group at the 14th floor of the Zuellig Bldg. on Paseo de Roxas Avenue; CG World Services, 9th floor, RCBC Towers, Gil Puyat (Buendia); Crowntech, 20th floor also at RCBC Towers; Gee Pacific Technology, 32nd floor, Robinson Summit Bldg., Ayala Avenue; Novemix Corp., RCBC Towers; Double Joy Limited, Gil Puyat Avenue; Opus Gaming Ltd, 51st. floor, PBCOM Bldg, Ayala Avenue; and Goldrich Global Games at Burgundy Tower, Gil Puyat Avenue.
It is also alarming that hundreds of illegal aliens, mostly Chinese, have been shipped into the country by human traffickers to work in these “call centers,” which are actually online gambling centers.
These establishments that do not even pay taxes hire undocumented aliens, mostly Chinese and Taiwanese, who take calls from clientele in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore.
Question is: How much do Makati local government officials get every week as payola, the reason why they turn a blind eye to these clandestine casino operations?
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DMCI condo in Mandaluyong has poor elevator service
If you, or someone you know, are planning to lease or buy a condo unit at the Flair Towers of D.M. Consunji Inc.(DMCI) along Reliance Avenue in Mandaluyong City (Metro Manila), think again.
Several of my officemates, who live on the property as it is just a block away from TV 5 station, complain of a lousy and very slow elevator service.
Imagine, each tower has forty floors but there are only four elevators that the tenants can use. There are two more elevators but they are service elevators or for bulk cargoes only.
Worse, tenants living on the 2nd to the 26th floor have to rely only on two elevators while the other two are allotted for occupants of the 27th to the 40th floor.
Each elevator takes almost 15 minutes going up on its assigned top floor and another 15 minutes coming down to the ground floor, according to the complaints.
Can someone from DMCI check on this problem? Why build a high-rise building if you can’t have an efficient elevator service???!!!
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