Officials of the Bureau of Customs (BoC) colluding with steelmakers in the smuggling of steel could be next on the chopping block of President Rodrigo Duterte, according to the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC).
In a phone interview with The Manila Times, PACC head Dante Jimenez said all Customs personnel, including those involved in the reported smuggling of steel, were under probe by the commission.
“Lahat ‘yan ng sa Customs kasi pasukan na ‘yan ng kung anu-anong contraband, mga illegal (We’re investigating all those involved in the corruption at the Customs bureau because of the smuggling of contraband and other illegal goods),” Jimenez said.
“Halo-halo na ‘yung sa Customs kasi grabe ang corruption (It’s a hodgepodge of corruption),” the PACC official added.
Jimenez made the statement after Duterte said he would go after 100 more personnel supposedly involved in corruption in the bureau.
The President said he originally had a list of 164 names of personnel from the BoC, saying most of these people have been with the agency for more than 10 years.
In July, Duterte placed on floating status 64 Customs personnel for their supposed involvement in corruption.
The Times earlier reported that top officials of the Department of Trade and Industry and BoC were allegedly in collusion with big steel manufacturers in facilitating the entry of substandard steel, which deprives the government of billions of pesos in taxes and duties.