BOC official to face House probe on Tuesday

RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 01 2017 03:54 AM

Bureau of Customs (BOC) Risk Management Head Larribert Hilario is scheduled to appear on Tuesday at the lower House as a surprise witness in the investigation of the House Committee on Dangerous Drugs.

House Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas revealed this to media, as he announced that the House will temporarily not pursue the fate of Mandy Anderson, chief of staff of Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon, whom lawmakers confronted last week for calling House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez an imbecile on Facebook.  

On the other hand, Hilario is already under the protective custody of the lower House.

"Under protective custody of the sergeant-at-arms, as authorized by the Speaker siya iyung in-charge ng risk monitoring office. I don't want to preempt, na-interview ko na siya magbibigay-liwanag. Lumabas kanina, he was placed under suspension daw," Fariñas said.

Meanwhile, House Committee on Dangerous Drugs Chair Robert "Ace" Barbers said Customs personnel and officers' alleged collusion with illegal drug syndicates is alarming.

News reports and social media buzz on the recent hearing of the House Committee indicate a deliberate effort to distract public's attention away from the real and pressing issues of the BOC, according to Barbers.

“The real issue here is that illegal drugs worth an estimated P6.4 billion have passed through the express lane of the Bureau of Customs, over which Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon and his chief of staff have direct supervision," he said.

The committee is now looking into the BOC raid of the smuggled drugs in Valenzuela that went through the BOC Express Lane last May 26.

HR 01054 was filed on May 31 by Barbers which directs an inquiry, in aid of the legislation, on the P6.4 billion worth of shabu seized by the BOC, and on the same day, HR 01057 was filed by Valenzuela Rep. Wes Gatchalian for an investigation, in aid of legislation, on the illegal entry, through the BOC express lane of more than P5 billion worth of shabu.