MANILA - Customs Deputy Collector Lourdes Mangaoang on Wednesday said Customs Commissioner Isidro Lapeña was a "liar" and may be held liable for being an "accessory" to the crime over the P6.8-billion shabu haul that allegedly slipped past port inspections.
This after Lapeña backtracked and said magnetic lifters found in Cavite may have contained illegal drugs.
Mangaoang said Lapeña may be held liable by virtue of command responsibility and for allegedly "covering up" the suspected shabu haul, which would make him "an accessory" to the crime.
"Pinagtakpan niya, sinabi niyang walang droga diyan, yung aksyon niya yan ay magagamit ng drug syndicate in their defense. Kapag pinagtakpan mo, kapag tinatago mo yung body of the crime or the commission of the crime, you are at the very least an accessory. So being an accessory, you must be charged," she said.
"Commissioner of Customs siya, dapat siya ang nagpoprosecute ng smugglers pero in this case ginagawa niya, pinagtatakpan niya, pinagtatanggol niya iyung drug syndicates."
Mangaoang also said Lapeña lied when he said that he has suspended two Customs personnel, Noli Martinez and Benjamin Cajucom, last Sep. 27.
"Alam niyo po sinungaling siya. Sabi niya sinuspinde na raw niya si Noli Martinez atsaka yung si Benji Cajucom as of Sep. 27. Sinagot ko siya, hindi ho yan totoo, dahil ako ay nagduty sa airport ng Oct. 5 at nandoon si Noli Martinez, nagduduty. Hindi siya nakasagot," Mangaoang told radio DZMM.
"Kanina ang sabi niya kasususpend niya lang daw noong Oct. 15 kaya ho napakasinungaling talaga ni Lapeña. Iba-iba na naman ang kaniyang mga sinasabi."
'Unfair treatment' at House hearing
Mangaoang said she was treated unfairly at the House hearing on Wednesday in which she was nearly cited for contempt.
"I believe I was treated unfairly because I was not the one being investigated. I was invited as a resource speaker to shed light, to explain, to educate. And yet, itong si Congressman (Romeo) Acop eh ang treatment niya kay Lapeña ay napakabait eh si Lapeña ay under investigation," she said.
"I got an unfair treatment kanina. Alam ko na ho yun kais magkaibigan 'yang si Commisioner Lapeña at Congressman Acop, magkasama sila sa PMA."
Mangaoang also reiterated that she is not speaking against Lapeña because of her several re-assignments this year.
She earlier said her recent work transfer exceeded the maximum number of allowed reassignments in a year under Civil Service Commission rules.
"Yung first re-assignment ko this year in January was a demotion pero tinanggap ko. Kasi pinilit ni Acop na ako ay galit kasi gusto nila palabasin dahil sa pagpalipat-lipat sa akin galit ako kay Lapeña, which is not true. Hindi ho totoo iyon," she said.
"Talagang umalma lang ako dahil nilagay niya ako sa floating, karapatan ko ho iyon na mag-appeal so hindi ho reason yung ako ay nademote dahil ako ay nagsasalita."