MANILA - Customs Deputy Collector Lourdes Mangaoang's drug "exposé" may have been triggered by her relief from duty, an official said Wednesday.
Dino Austria, collector in the Port of Manila and Customs spokesman, said he had requested for Mangaoang's relief as early as June or July, and Mangaoang approached Customs Chief Isidro Lapeña with her supposed findings on August 13.
"I cannot speculate what really drives her to do this, but I would point that the spark that started it all was the management decision on my part to have her relieved as my deputy. It was just ill-timed unfortunately that it happened at that time," Austria told ANC's Headstart.
Austria said it was no secret within their unit that he and Mangaoang have had "some management differences."
"There are dual aspects to respect—there is personal respect, there is positional respect. Di bale nang hindi mo ma-respect yung boss mo nang personal; but the moment that I feel that you are already touching on the respect that is due the office, that is an entirely different matter," he said.
It can be recalled that Mangaoang said Customs Commissioner Isidro Lapeña ignored her report that the x-ray machines detected the drugs inside 2 magnetic lifters that were eventually found empty in Cavite province in August.
When Commissioner Isidro Lapeña came in, Mangaoang was initially assigned as a district collector in Legazpi before being transferred to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport as a deputy collector then to the Port of Manila.
But Lapeña said he replaced Mangaoang because she was frequently absent.
"I saw that she had been absenting herself--of course it has been authorized--but we cannot afford absences in the district, especially that the district collectors are responsible in hitting the target. If not they will get relieved," Lapeña said in the same interview.
In an inquiry at the House of Representatives Wednesday, Mangaoang however said that while she was not happy with her reassignments, this does not mean that she was mad at her boss.
She also lamented that her recent work transfer exceeded the maximum number of allowed reassignments in a year under Civil Service Commission rules.