62 to 72 Customs officials to be fired, Palace says

MORE than 50 erring officials of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) will be fired over their alleged link to corruption, Malacañang announced Thursday, July 11.

"From what I gather, mga 72 yata ang tatanggalin niya or are facing administrative charges. Ganoon karami. Either 72 or 62. Hindi ko na matandaan ang exact (number). Basta marami. Mahigit 50, less than 100," Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo told a press conference.

(From what I gather, there are around 72 BOC officials who will be terminated or are facing administrative charges. That's the number of those who will be fired. They are either 72 or 62. I couldn't recall the exact number. There are many. More than 50, less than 100.)

"Ganoon karami ang involved sa corruption (The number shows that there are many BOC officials who are involved in corruption)," he added.

The announcement was made after President Rodrigo Duterte placed several "high-ranking" Customs officials under floating status.

On Wednesday, July 10, Panelo said the President has directed the "freezing" of corrupt BOC officials, who are facing administrative and criminal charges because of "unlawful activities."

The last time Duterte put all Customs personnel under floating status was in October 2018, or two months after a drug smuggling scandal rocked the bureau.

Panelo said the fate of more than 50 BOC officials allegedly involved in corruption would depend on the results of the ongoing investigation against them.

"Ibig sabihin, floating muna sila. Floating kasi they have pending administrative and criminal charges (Meaning, they are still under floating status. They are still under floating status because they have pending administrative and criminal charges)," he said.

"Basta marami siyang sisibakin, iyan ang sabi niya. And meron ng imbestigasyon na ginagawa. Basta ongoing. Ilalabas na lang lahat iyan ni Presidente (He will fire many BOC officials. That's what he said. And there's an ongoing investigation. The resuls of the investigation will be released by the President)," Panelo added. (SunStar Philippines)


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