PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has appointed two former Customs officials to new government posts, despite their having been linked to the controversial P6.4-billion smuggled "shabu" (methamphetamine hydrochloride) from China.
Based on appointment papers signed on November 6 but released by Malacañang on Friday, November 10, Gerardo Gambala was named Director IV of the Office of Transportation Security while Milo Maestrecampo was appointed as Assistant Director General IV of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines.
Both Gambala and Maestrecampo are former mutineers from the Magdalo, a group of dissident junior military officers who staged the Oakwood mutiny in 2003.
Gambala was a Customs deputy commissioner while Maestrecampo was Import Assistant Service director at the Bureau of Customs, when the controversy over the P6.4-billion illegal drugs shipment erupted.
They were in hot water for their failure to stop the shipment, which slipped past the Customs green lane in May.
Maestrecampo was accused by self-confessed private broker Mark Taguba of pocketing bribe money to process illegal shipments. The former Magdalo soldier denied Taguba's accusation and resigned from his post in August.
On the other hand, Gambala, who resigned in October, was among the BOC officials mentioned by Senator Panfilo Lacson as involved in corruption, along with former Customs commissioner Nicanor Faeldon. (SunStar Philippines)