Vice mayor: Rice smuggling is Customs’ weakness

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Wednesday, January 8, 2014


DAVAO City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte believes rice smuggling has been happening in the Davao port for a long time now, and not just recently.

“Kay ang atong problema diha naa lang sa sulod sa Customs bureau (Our problem is in the Customs bureau). There’s something wrong,” he said during the Pulong-pulong ni Pulong program.

His father, Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, declared on Sunday a war against rice smugglers in the city of Davao, saying he would resort to “killing” them should they fail to obey his order to stop their activities.

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The elder Duterte reiterated that he has to intensify his campaign against smugglers after the solicitor-general and the Bureau of Internal Revenue called him, seeking his help.

He said he is just “bound to follow National Government‘s order.”

For his part, Vice Mayor Duterte said it is more prudent for those into rice smuggling to just do as told.

“Kung mahitabo nang ingon ana diri sa atong syudad, nitingog naman ang mayor so pagbantay mo kay may isang salita na atong mayor. Kung musulti na siya muadto ka na sa Ginoo, muadto ka na sa Ginoo. Kung muadto naka sa impyerno, padulong na gyud ka didto (We have already heard the mayor and the mayor stands true to his words. If he says you will be meeting the Lord soon, you will. If he says you’re headed for hell, you are),” the vice mayor said during the Pulong-pulong ni Pulong.

“Kung ako pa ninyo, advice nako sa inyoha, pagbantay mo unya undangi na inyong binuang diha sulod sa pantalan diri sa syudad sa Davao (If I were a smuggler, I’d heed the warning and stop),” he added.

Meanwhile, the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) once again bristled at the statements of Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte threatening to kill the rice smugglers in the city, describing it as “unethical.” ALSO READ: Duterte: Rice smugglers face death

“It’s unbecoming of a public official like him. It gives the impression that we are not living under a government of laws,” Marc Titus Cebreros, chief of the CHR Information and Communication Division, was quoted as saying in an ABS-CBN report online, adding that although his statement is not per se a human rights violation, it’s “unethical.”

The report said Cebreros is set to write a formal letter to Duterte, informing the latter “that there is something alarming and wrong with his statement.”

CHR Chairman Loretta Ann Rosales also described Duterte’s threat to kill rice smugglers as unethical, adding that the latter’s role is to ensure good governance and not kill people.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on January 09, 2014.

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