Unqualified Bureau of Customs intelligence chief remains in office

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DESPITE a final ruling by the Civil Service Commission (CSC) en banc that he was “unqualified” for his post, Agent 1 Richard Rebong remains as chief of the Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS).

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The CSC en banc, headed by Chairman Francisco Duque, has upheld an earlier ruling by the CSS Field Office and CSC-National Capital Region that both dismissed Rebong’s appeal on his permanent appointment as CIIS chief.

A source at the customs legal service, however, said that Rebong’s only recourse to remain as CIIS chief was to secure a temporary restraining order (TRO) from the court.

The intelligence chief was booted out on four grounds—his appointment is “more than three salary grade steps which is restricted under CSC Memorandum Circular 3, he has no professional career service second level eligibility, his promotion violates the rules on the selection and promotion of government executives, and he lacks the required experience and training.

Section 15 of CSC MC 3 states that “an employee may be promoted or transferred to a position which is not more than three salary, pay or job grades higher than the employee’s present position.”

In his appeal, Rebong submitted documents showing that he had previously held the positions of Intelligence I (SG-08) at the Bureau of Customs (BoC) from March 23, 2004 to May 14, 2012; Intelligence Agent 1 (SG-8) at the defunct Economic Intelligence and Investigation Bureau (EIIB) from October 1, 1994 to January 1, 2001; account manager at the New Business Center from February 1, 1988 to June 1, 1988; security investigator at the RVV Security and Services Inc. from August 1, 1988 to August 1, 1991; and senior market analyst at the Queensland-Tokyo Commodities Inc. from August 1, 1991 to December 1, 1991.

But the CSC maintained that Rebong’s appointment was “legally flawed” because he held a first level position as Intelligence Agent 1 at the time of his designation. Hence, it cannot be credited for purposes of compliance with the experience requirement.

“Moreover, the contention of Rebong that those duties and responsibilities which involve management and supervision actually performed by him are well within the ‘metes and bounds’ of his ’first level position’ is bereft of merit,” they added.

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