Close to 200 corruption cases were recently filed by the Bureau of Customs (BOC) before investigation agencies in the country against its own personnel.
The order of Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero to investigate, file cases, and major revamp within the bureau has resulted in a total of 192 cases filed before the Ombudsman, Department of Justice, and National Bureau of Investigation.
It further led to the dismissal of 20 personnel, suspension of four personnel with four more being reprimanded, Guerrero said in a statement Thursday, Oct. 29.
“To fight graft and corruption, investigations were conducted, and cases were filed against errant customs employees,” he said.
From January 2019 to Oct. 26 this year, a total of 135 personnel were investigated by the Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service over alleged corruption activities, while show-case orders were served to 228 customs personnel.
“As a result, 45 customs personnel were charged with administrative cases before the BOC–Legal Service. This further resulted in the filing of seven criminal cases before the Department of Justice, 157 cases before the Office of the Ombudsman, and 28 cases before the National Bureau of Investigation,” the commissioner said.
Most of the cases are still pending, he added.
A massive relief and reshuffling of Customs personnel was also initiated.
From Jan. 1 to Oct. 26 of this year, 708 personnel have been reshuffled to various offices, of which 62 were relieved from duty or on floating status.
Guerrero said this aims to send “a clear and firm message to all Customs personnel doing unlawful activities that the bureau will be relentless, unwavering, and serious with its efforts to weed out misfits in the agency.”
He furthered that the agency will sustain its drive in getting rid of corrupt personnel in its ranks and maintain focus in its primary function in revenue collection, trade facilitation, and border control.