Customs posts should not be 'balato' for ex-soldiers: Gordon

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 04 2017 02:26 PM

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Key posts at the Bureau of Customs should not be doled out as a reward for retired military officials or administration allies, Senator Richard Gordon said Wednesday. 

At the resumption of a Senate inquiry into the P6.4 billion shabu shipment that breezed through BOC inspection, Gordon said alleged corruption at the agency will persist unless its next leaders are handpicked youths. 
 
He urged BOC to offer scholarships to students at state universities and recruit them after graduation. 
 
"You have to have a machinery where you can draw people from. An institution within Customs or the finance department is what I'm suggesting -- na kukuha kayo ng mga bata na iti-train ninyo, bibigyan niyo ng culture... of duty, honor, integrity saka devotion to public service," said Gordon. 
 
"Nagtataka ako bakit kailangan kumuha tayo ng mga sundalo... Dapat professionalized talaga iyang Customs service, hindi pwedeng balato natin iyan for good service." 
 
Customs commissioner Isidro Lapeña, for his part, said that his medium-term plans include establishing a "Customs academy" that would train future personnel. 

Lapeña's predecessor, Nicanor Faeldon, and Customs Deputy Commissioner Gerardo Gambala are former soldiers. 

Senator Panfilo Lacson earlier accused Faeldon of pocketing P100 million in "pasalubong" when he was appointed to BOC. 

Faeldon, who has denied the allegation, refused to attend Wednesday's probe. 

DZMM TeleRadyo, 4 October 2017