Oil firm to file raps vs CIDG-ARMM

By Albashir Saiden, ABS-CBN News Central Mindanao

Posted at Jan 07 2014 11:19 PM | Updated as of Jan 08 2014 07:19 AM

COTABATO CITY -- An oil firm said it will file complaints against police probers in connection with an alleged illegal search conducted on a ship in Maguindanao over the weekend.

Iron Blaze Petroleum Inc. said it will file cases against the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group - Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) for allegedly conducting illegal operations when it searched for alleged firearms and smuggled petroleum products in a ship in Polloc Port, Parang, Maguindanao last Saturday.

Atty. Jun Salvador, legal counsel of Iron Blaze, said they will file charges of usurpation of public function against the CIDG. He said they will use the Tariffs and Customs Code of the Philippines as basis for the complaint.

"Hindi kasama sa power ng CIDG to prosecute smuggling cases, kailangan i-deputize sila ng commissioner of customs. I don't think they were deputized kasi na-abolish na yung mga task forces sa panahon ni Arroyo eh…so they were on their own. They served a function that is not theirs," Salvador said.

"And I would like to reiterate na kumpleto ang papeles namin, yung barko po is in compliance with customs' standard," he added.

Salvador said one of the CIDG's faults was when they embarked on their ship despite the rule that the first person allowed to do so is the quarantine doctor.

"When they boarded the vessel, the quarantine flag was still hoisted. Hence, they violated the quarantine law which is being observed through out the world," he said.

ARMM Police Regional Office Director Chief Superintendent Noel delos Reyes also said the CIDG operatives did not follow the right protocol.

"Dapat nating tandaan ang parating sinasabi ni PNP director general na dapat alamin muna natin ang batas bago gumawa ng kahit na anong aksyon," delos Reyes said.

Meanwhile, ARMM Governor Mujiv Hataman ordered the CIDG to submit its official report regarding the operation.

Hataman said the shipment is documented and that the regional board of investment of ARMM also had the Department of Energy's certification of the delivery.

"Sa nangyari, dapat patunayan nila sa report nila kasi kung hindi kung kasiraan na naidulot nito sa mga investors. Kung kelan pa tayo may investors ngayon pa nangyari ito," he said.

As of posting, the CIDG-ARMM operatives have opted to keep silent regarding the issue.