House solon backs physical examination of suspicious Bureau of Customs shipments

November 02, 2018

ON top of the X-ray scanning, the chairman of the House Committee on dangerous drugs yesterday backed the automatic physical examination of suspicious shipment at the Bureau of Customs (BoC) to put an end to the alleged continued smuggling of shabu using magnetic lifters.

Committee chair Surigao del Norte Rep. Robert Ace Barbers made the statement after former Customs Commissioner Isidro Lapeña changed his previous statement during a joint House panel hearing that there was no shabu in the magnetic lifters found in a warehouse in Cavite.

Barbers also took note of the position made by John Mar Morales, a long-time BoC x-ray inspector currently assigned at the Port of Batangas, and Manuel Martinez, the BoC X-ray inspector who examined the four magnetic lifters, opposing former Customs X-ray division chief and Deputy Collector Lourdes Mangaoang’s statement that the four magnetic lifters allegedly contained P6.8 billion worth of shabu.

“Atty. Mangaoang has a very good point that there should be standard operating procedure to subject suspicious contrabands to physical examination,” said Barbers, adding that X-ray is not enough because of the seeming collusion of some BoC personnel and officials.

“May problema talaga sa loopholes sa X-ray process at analysis kasi dalawang tao lang ang involved na puwedeng magkuntsabahan, iyung X-ray  analysis at iyung shift manager,” said Barbers.

The Barbers panel and the House Committee on Good Government and Public Accountability continue their probe following the failure of the BoC to prevent the large-scale smuggling of illegal substances in the country based on House Resolution (HR) No. 2068 of Marikina City Rep. Miro Quimbo.