MANILA - The new Customs chief took office on Wednesday, with a warning that he would not tolerate corruption in the agency.
Commissioner Isidro Lapeña took over from Nicanor Faeldon, who came under fire over his handling of a P6.4-billion shipment of illegal drugs shipment from China.
Lapeña, a former police general, said he would implement a "one-strike" policy, wherein officials found engaged in corruption would be removed from their posts on the first proven offense.
"My top priority should be clear to everyone: It is to do away with the 'pasalubong' and 'tara'. Strictly no gift and no take policy," he said.
"Just do your work, prove your worth and I will back you up. But once I receive reports of your corrupt practices, and such reports are validated, I will not think twice, pasensyahan tayo," he said.
Lapeña said he was issuing a "stern warning" against those who would use his name to do wrong, adding, "Don't do that under my term. I will get you."
Those who do their jobs well will be rewarded, he said.
Lapeña said he would pursue the computerization of Customs procedures and set up a 24-hour feedback mechanism.