Its a hot topic right now at the South Harbor rumor mill that Volvo Philipines and Hyundai Philippines are under investigation by the Bureau of Customs (BOC) for alleged violations of the Customs and Tariff code of the Philippines….. in short, smuggling.
The story goes like this:
The two imported car and heavy equipment manufacturers bring in dozens of their products to the country every week.
Nothing wrong with that so long as they pay the taxes . . . right???Unfortunately, the same report says that instead of declaring their cargoes as cars and heavy equipments, they declare it as spare parts which greatly reduces the amount of taxes they have to pay with the BOC and the Bureau of Internal Revenue ((BIR) as well.
According to the same report, the bigwigs of the said companies are not directly involved in the said illegal activities, it is the broker who does the hocus-pocus on the paperworks at the pier.
Also part of the “magic scheme” by the broker is undervaluation or reporting to the BOC assesment officers the low cost value of the cargoes to avoid paying big amount of taxes.
Whether true or not, BOC Commissioner Ruffy Biazon has already ordered the post audit compliance for the said companies.
Intelligence failure or operational lapses?
Fifteen troops are dead, seven from the marines and eight from the police, in a span of three days in Mindanao and Nothern Luzon respectively last week.
Though some of the families of these fallen soldiers have accepted the fact that their husbands, sons,or brothers are gone, their death could have been avoided if only their commanders did their jobs properly
Every commander knows that the accomplishment of every mission depends entirely on good communication, sufficient firepower, lightning speed and the element of surprise.
Though every mission varies as it depends on its objective, all of which require careful planning, and good intelligence information, especially when its all about enemy territory infiltration.
Base on experience, I would say there were lapses in the operation of the marines and intel failure, and so was with the fate of the 8 police officers.
I was a member of the U.S. Army’s 3rd Infantry Division as a squad leader in an infantry platoon in the late 80’s up to early 90’s. Our unit also saw action during the Dessert Storm in 1991.
The incident in Patikul, Sulu, where seven marines died, was due to poor intelligence.
Because, an intelligence information would have told the soldiers in advance the size of the enemy and where they are located since their mission was to gather data inside the enemy line.
It would have also pointed them their escape route if they got engaged in a firefight by an overwhelming number of enemy forces.
It seems that instead of surprising the enemy, the seven soldiers, about the size of an army squad, were instead suprised as the Abu Sayaff were already waiting for the kill.
Now, over in Allacapan, Cagayan wherein 8 policemen were killed by the NPA rebels on their way for a medical check-up was really a boo-boo by their commanders.
Based on intelligence reports, the area is a rebel infested place, but the cops, most of them in physical fitness uniforms, were still sent to the area unprepared for any eventualities.
Another blunder the cops made was when they rode a marked police truck passing through the enemy territory which is a no-no in military operations.
By riding on marked police vehicle, the poor policemen became moving targets by the rebels.
I agree with Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin and AFP Chief of Staff Emmanuel Bautista that dying is the greatest hazard of the trade
But dying while doing the job you especialize in or simply going for a medical check-up is hard to accept.
The marines who were killed were about to graduate in a specialize course in enemy line infiltration. They were supposed to be highly trained in going in and out of the enemy’s lair without being detected, and react in an encounter or ambush with zero or minimal casualties. Unfortunately one squad was wiped out by the Abu Sayaff.
The cops on the other hand who were just going to see if they are healthy enough to stay in the service died in a roadside bombing.
If only their commanders strictly adhered to the SOPs of military and police operations, those men would have still been alive today.
Heads should roll Gen. Bautista and PNP Chief Gen. Allan Purisima.
The AFP and PNP should go after these culprits and hit them hard too and let them taste the government’s might.