Former Bureau of Customs Risk Management Office Head Laribert Hilario told lawmakers of the House Ways and means Committee that his request for an alert order that would have stopped the exit from Customs of the billions of pesos worth of shabu apprehended in Valenzuela was denied.
Hilario broke his silence when he finally appeared at the committee investigation into the smuggling of some 6.5B pesos worth of shabu from China that was apprehended in May.
The house ways and means committee chairman had a very simple question—how come EMT trading, consignee of the smuggled shabu worth billions of pesos, was allowed to use the expresslane of the bureau of customs.
Bureau officials explained Their system automatically is set to green to allow the unhampered access of shipment, BUT the same system automatically red flags new importers or sole proprietorships.Those that use the expresslane still are subject o random physical exam.
However , shipments will only be redflagged depending on the information submitted. Only shipments that are considered to have risk are red flagged. But House Ways and Means Committee Chair Dakila Carlo Cua says this maybe why smuggling is successful.
Faeldon said, “Under our risk management system theres a parameter to categorize that as red the 2 parameters are 1 new importer or sole propertor. You have to encode data that will be read…so that it will be read by the risk management system..(that) is what the boc failed to do”
Cua said, “Your explanation is very alarming”
House majority leader rodolfo farinas points out that asked for the list new of importers so these can be inputted into the system. Emt trading was only registered january 2017. The greenlane is reserved for the top 1000 companies. But hilario didnt get any list.
When hilario finally appeared, he insisted he had nothing to do with the smuggled shabu and that brokers are the ones who input information into the system. but when he became oic of the command center in may…He noticed that EMT trading and 2 other companies had many entries which suspiciously, had the same valuations.
Hilario says he recommended the issuance of an alert order to director milo maestrecampo of the import and assessment service assessment and operational coordinating group which under boc rules…has jurisidctions over valuations—a
Maestrecampo’s explanation, that is not his job since he only has jurisidiction over questions over the values of the shipment. Maestrecampo insists that based on the delcared contents of the shipment.It did not deserve an alert order.
House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez points out that the shipment left customs without anyone signing off. He also pointed out that the bureau put up a command center without the authority of the department of finance. Faeldon could not answer who recommended the creation of the command center, prompting Alvarez to refer to Faeldon’s previous revelation, that it was his lawyer fiancee who advised him to allow the controlled delivery of just one of the 5 containers that contained the seized shabu so he can also file a case against the owner of the warehouse. Speaker Alvarez and other lawmakers found that to be proof of evidence tampering.
Alvarez said, “ Eto bang ginagawa, ah, Comissioner Faeldon, yung ginawa ninyong Command Center, hindi ito yung dating proseso sa Customs? Am I correct? Ngayon lang ito yung panahon, yung creation ng command center?”
Faeldon replied, “ Yes sir.”
Alvarez said, “Okay, dito bas a creation ng command center covered ba ito ng administrative order galing sa Department of Finance?”
Faeldon said, “No sir.”
Alvarez replied, “ Oh, bakit ganyan? Kasi hindi ka pupwede gumawa ng kahit anong proseso doon kung walang administrative order coming from the Secretary of Finance. You are not authorized to do it. Sinong bright ang nag-recommend sa iyo niyan? Sinong bright, sinong bright? Pakilabas ng nung bright na nag-recommend sa iyo niyan? O sinong bright ang nag-recommend sa iyo? Nasaan na yung mga advisers mo? Wag naman, sabihin mo na naman mamaya yung fiancée mo ha?”
faeldon then said, “Sir nagbihis kanina baka ipatawag mo e. Sige di bale na lang, okay na rin yun. Mr. Chairman, iba na lang ang magtanong. “
The same hearing revealed that hilario was suspened without his side being heard by faeldon. faeldon admits he based his order to suspend after hearing information from sources he did not name.
faeldon said, “thats the first time I heard his side theres no explanation like that by atty hilario
Farinas fears this may just be the tip of the ice berg. He also is suspicious that the shipment was not immediately whisked away from the warehouse…And that it ws only apprehended…Upon a tip from china.
On tuesday pdea agent wilkins villanueva already highlighted the porcedural lapses in the raid.Lawmakers also pointed out that the raid was without a search warrant…And that the pdea was practicallt left out of the operation. Navarro said, ““all the drugs were contaminated. Everyone’s touching it. Everyone’s taking selfies with the drugs. I was really taken aback!”