Customs Commissioner Isidro Lapeña, who is accused of inaction over the alleged entry of narcotics in the country, claimed Wednesday that smugglers and drug lords have raised P20 million for a smear campaign against him.
"I was informed that the players have put up a sinking fund of P20 million that will be used against me because my reformative efforts are already hurting their operation," Lapeña said in a House inquiry.
He said the smear campaign against him intensified during his recent trip abroad to celebrate his mother's 91st birthday.
It was around this time that Customs deputy collector Lourdes Mangaoang claimed that Lapeña snubbed her information that x-ray machines detected drugs inside 2 magnetic lifters that passed Customs inspection and were eventually found empty in Cavite province in August.
Mangaoang also alleged that Lapeña may have been covering up for drug rings.
Lapeña, during the House inquiry into the issue, denied that he did nothing over the report.
He said he set up an investigation committee and suspended Customs intelligence officer Jimmy Guban and 2 x-ray employees for failing to conduct a physical inspection of the magnetic lifters.
"I will never destroy my name protecting drug syndicates as insinuated by certain write-ups that have circulated," he said.
"I have served this government and this country for 34 years without compromising my principles and highest regard for public service."
ANC, 24 October 2018