Customs officer nabbed for receiving bribe money

By Betheena Kae Unite 

A customs officer assigned at the Manila International Container Port is now in hot water for allegedly accepting bribe money from brokers and processors.

Assistant Customers Operations Officer Cesar Nierva was arrested by a team from the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) Tuesday after investigators confirmed that he received a total of P7,880-bribe money inserted between documents filed at the Entry Processing Unit (EPU).

According to the Bureau of Customs’ Intelligence Group, Nierva “has been receiving bribes from brokers and processors at the EPU.”

After receiving information that he was involved in such activity, the Intelligence Group passed the information to the PCG, which is tasked to gather evidence about the case.

On Tuesday afternoon, the Coast Guard positively identified Nierva as the personnel receiving bribe money. He was then apprehended and brought to the Enforcement Security Service (ESS)-MICP office, where he was questioned about the black eco bag containing the P7,880 in cash.

Nierva was brought to the Manila Regional Trial Court on Wednesday for inquest proceedings relating to the violation of Article 210 of the Revised Penal Code, which prohibits government employees from receiving offers, promises, gifts, or presents “in connection with the performance of his official duties.”

If found guilty, Nierva will face “prision mayor” or six to eight years in prison. He will also get fined by not less than three times the value of the gift he received.

Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero said Nierva’s arrest is part of the bureau’s crackdown on corrupt employees. He stressed that this is not a “one-time thing.”

“This is one of my first directives when I assumed the post of commissioner. I am aware of the bureau’s reputation in the eyes of the public. Cleaning up the bureau is a personal agenda,” Guerrero said.

“We want to send a message to all bureau employees that we’re serious about dismantling systematic corruption in this administration. We are going to get to the bottom of every corrupt practice in this bureau,” the commissioner added.