'Infighting at Customs linked to smuggling'

by Henry Omaga-Diaz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 25 2014 08:34 PM | Updated as of Mar 26 2014 07:03 AM

Customs deputy Dellosa claims smugglers out to destroy him

PNoy gets report on links between David Tan and Customs officials

MANILA - Two Customs officials have been at odds the past months, accusing each other of anomalies in the bureau.
Last week, a report involving a complaint filed by a broker against the camp of Customs Deputy Commissioner Jessie Dellosa reached different media organizations.

In an affidavit, a certain Lamberto Lopez, supposedly an employee of 88 Circle in Cebu, said he met with two Customs intelligence agents based in Manila for the immediate release of their shipment.
The two agents, who are both under Dellosa, allegedly asked Lopez P150,000 in exchange for the release of the shipment.

In the course of the negotiations, the agents allegedly raised the amount to P450,000.

Dellosa, however, dismissed the complaint, saying it was nothing but a demolition job against him.
The owner of 88 Circle also said he doesn't know the complainant.

According to a copy of a plane ticket, the complainant was then in Cotabato.

Dellosa theorizes that some Customs employees are behind the smear drive against him.

"This is a demolition job against sa grupo namin," he said. "Ang purpose nila dito ay mapaalis kami sa BOC [Bureau of Customs]."

He said these employees want to destroy him because of his campaign against smuggling.

"Marami na kaming nasasagasaan dito na smuggler, mga player," he said. "Kasama na dito ang mga ibang employee na hindi na rin gumagawa ng tama."

"Meron din dito atsaka meron din sa labas. Malaking grupo actually ito," Dellosa said. "Palagay namin, nabangga na namin."

A few weeks back, Dellosa gave President Aquino a report detailing the involvement of some government officials in rice smuggling.

The report also alleged a connection between alleged big time rice smuggler David Tan and some ranking Customs officials.
Dellosa has refused to talk to media about the report.

But based on information gathered by ABS-CBN News from various government sources, the Dellosa report tackled the links between David Tan and Deputy Commissioner for Enforcement Ariel Nepomuceno.

The report also allegedly pointed to Nepomuceno as having organized the "tara" system at Customs, or the illegal collection system that occurred during the time of then Commissioner Ruffy Biazon.

Nepomuceno declined to give an official statement on the report.

But in the few times that he met with ABS-CBN News off-camera, Nepomuceno denied all the allegations contained in the report.
He also denied having anything to do with complaint against Dellosa.
The rivalry between some deputy commissioners is an open secret inside the Customs bureau, according to sources.