2 Customs Davao execs cry foul over ABS-CBN TV Patrol report on rice smuggling

jan 26, 2014

Two officials of the the Bureau of Customs Port of Davao singled out in ABS-CBN TV Patrol news report Friday evening by its reporter Jay Ruiz as suspected to be in cahoots with rice smugglers cried foul, saying that the report is “grossly unfair and malicious”.

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BOC Davao Collector Pacasum (left) and Davao City Mayor Rody Duterte

In an interview Friday night, BOC Davao Acting District Collector Samsom Pacasum said that he was deeply hurt by the news report that seemed to portray him along with former Acting Collector for Operations lawyer Edward James Dy Buco as being punished for the recent release of rice shipments passing the Davao port.

“We were just following the order of the courts and even sought for the Commissioner’s appropriate action,” Pacasum said, referring to the rice shipments in 167 containers that were issued of alert and hold orders by BOC Davao late last year due to lack of import permits from the National Food Authority.

The Regional Trial Court of Davao City, Branch 16 and the RTC of Manila, Branch 16, in December last year respectively issued injunction orders to BOC Davao to cease and desist from issuing any alert, hold or seizure order to specific shipments of the contesting shipper.
Pacasum said that he was guided by the memorandum issued by BOC Commissioner John Sevilla that specific shipments subject of injunction that subdued the requirement of lack of NFA import permit would have to be released upon compliance of applicable customs rules and regulations.

For his part, lawyer Dy Buco texted his statement: “I vehemently protest the false and malicious news item broadcast (Friday night) over ABS-CBN’s TV Patrol News program stating that I, together with Collector Pacasum, were removed from our posts as punishment for allowing the release of 167 containers of rice in Davao City.

First, I’m no longer assigned in Davao Port when the rice shipments were released. I have been reporting with the Legal Service under the DepComm for RCMG. The new CPO directed me to report to the Office of DepComm RCMG which happens to be my mother unit.

Secondly, the rice shipments were released pursuant to a court order and not because Collector Pacasum wanted it released. We tried to hold the release of the rice due to persuasions from higher officials and various offices to defy the injunction order.

Collector Pacasum was the one who issued the alert and hold orders which I prepared. How could they say then that we allowed its release and be punished for such action. I have sent an urgent request to the Secretary of Finance (Cesar Purisima) and Commissioner of Customs for a clarificatory statement on this matter that caused grave damage and injury to me and my family, otherwise, appropriate charges will be filed before the court and proper bodies.”

The report said that Pacasum and Dy Buco were among the 12 BOC officials relieved by Commisioner Sevilla from their posts this week and were ordered to be transferred to Customs Policy Research Office under the Dept. of Finance. (Cha Monforte)

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Watch the ABS-CBN TV Patrol report:
http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/video/nation/01/24/14/excl-corruption-system-rooted-too-deeply-customs-chief-says

Read the news in ABS-CBNnews.com:
http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/focus/01/24/14/customs-chief-cleans-house-12-officials-axed

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