BOC denied alert order for smuggled drugs, suspended official says

RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 02 2017 11:41 PM

A Bureau of Customs official on Wednesday said his request for an alert order that would have stopped entry of illegal drugs from China was denied.

Risk Management Office head Laribert Hilario said he recommended the issuance of an alert order to Import Assessment Division Director Milo Maestrecampo who has jurisdictions over evaluation.

“Had my request been approved, inside the BOC, we would have already known that it contained the cylinders [that contained drugs],” Hilario said during a House Ways and Means Committee hearing.

Maestrecampo, however, denied he has jurisdiction over the values of the shipment and said it did not deserve an alert order based on the declared contents of the shipment.

Hilario added that he was not given an updated list of new importers despite various requests. 

The updated list would have classified EMT Trading, the importer that shipped 600 kilos of “shabu”, as a new importer, which would warrant random inspection.

Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon on Tuesday said EMT Trading was not flagged by the Risk Management Office as a sole proprietor and new importer, which was how the shipment of “shabu” was allowed to enter the country.

The House probe also revealed Hilario was suspended without his side being heard by Faeldon, who admitted he based his order to suspend after hearing information from sources he did not name.

"That’s the first time I heard his side. There’s no explanation like that by Atty. Hilario,” he said.