Officer cries foul over office demolition

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Saturday, March 8, 2014


AN OFFICER of the Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS) reported an illegal demolition within the Bureau of Customs Building in Sasa, Davao City on February 22.

CIIS officer Digno Enerio told Sun.Star in an interview on Friday that some of his personal belongings and vital files on illegal importations were stolen.

Enerio said his office at the former Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) office was ransacked and demolished around 9 a.m. of February 22.

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He was informed by his officemates that his office was being demolished. He rushed to the office and saw around seven workers bringing down tables and cabinets from his office.

Enerio tried to check on his things but his office was already barred. He detached the air conditioning unit and gained entry to his own office.

He first noticed that his wristwatch, sunglasses, and a pair Adidas shoes were missing. He also said some of the plywood he stocked inside were already gone.

His Inward Foreign Manifests, which shows illegal importations of rice covering the year 2012, was also missing. Fortunately, Enerio said he has kept electronic copies of the files.

According to Enerio, the demolition was upon the orders of Bureau of Customs (BOC) Admin Officer Marie Fe Eltagonde.

Enerio questioned the order on the issue of prior notice. He said BOC Enforcement and Security Service (ESS) district commander Major Camilo Cascolan Jr. claimed that they were trying to locate him for two months.

“Nandito lang naman ako sa Davao City. Ibig sabihin nun, mahina ang kanilang intelligence (I am just here in Davao City. That means they have poor intelligence),” Enerio said.

He said he only received the notice last Wednesday and found the grounds of the demolition not credible.

Cascolan, in his memo, said the area where the IPO was established was intended as a recreation area for the personnel of the Port of Davao and the establishment was not sanctioned by the BOC.

Cascolan also said, "the existence of the present structure has now become an eyesore."

Enerio said he was granted by the administration office of BOC permission to use the IPR office including tables and file cabinets.

Eltagonde, meanwhile, cited in her memo that the documents in the IPR office should also be seized based on the guidelines of the National Archives of the Philippines (NAP) on the disposal of permanent public records.

Enerio submitted an incident report to BOC district collector Ernesto Aradanas asking for a probe into the alleged illegal demolition with robbery but it is yet to be acted on.

Enerio also said in his letter to Aradanas that he may be filing complaints for violation of the Administrative Code of 198 and Republic 6713 or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees before the Office of the Ombudsman.

Attempts to contact Aradanas failed as calls to a number that was supposed to be hid were not answered and text messages were not acknowledged.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on March 08, 2014.

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