Ex-Customs exec in P6.4-B shabu mess faces NBI complaint
MANILA, Philippines – After a lifestyle check on one of the characters in the P6.4-billion shabu shipment, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) found basis to file a graft complaint against Larribert Hilario, resigned head of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) Risk Management Office.
Hilario, his wife Maria Concepcion, driver Dino Dotingco, and staff Jerlie Adel all face complaints of graft, falsification of public documents, and forfeiture of assets filed by the NBI before the Office of the Ombudsman on Friday, March 23.
The complaints involve alleged ill-gotten wealth, and are not related to the P6.4-billion shapu shipment.
Who is Larribert Hilario? Hilario went "missing" when the Senate started investigating the P6.4-billion shabu shipment that passed through the BOC in May 2017.
Hilario was accused of allowing the shipment to pass through the green lane, where there is no need to scan the shipment under X-ray.
Resigned BOC commissioner Nicanor Faeldon said Hilario even tried to change encoded data in the system to try to cover up his fraud.
Hilario eventually showed up at the House of Representatives where he gave a totally different story.
Hilario said he had no ability to change the green lane tag, but wanted it alerted because it was entered by Customs broker Teejay Marcellana who allegedly had a spotty record at the BOC.
Hilario said he tried to request an alert order on the shipment, but it was ignored by Import Assessment Services Director Milo Maestrecampo.
Maestrecampo said he did not have the authority to issue alert orders.
Maestrecampo resigned but he was later appointed by President Rodrigo Duterte as assistant director general of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP).
What is the complaint against Hilario? NBI Director Dante Gierran said they received a report on Hilario's alleged ill-gotten wealth and quickly conducted a lifestyle check, getting documents such as SALNs and records from the Land Registration Authority (LRA), Land Transportation Authority (LTO), Land Transportation Franchise Regulatory Board (LTFRB), and the Business Permit Office of the City Government of Manila.
"After an exhaustive investigation, the NBI was able to establish that the couple, Atty Larribert Hilario and Maria Concepcion Hilario, are liable for illegally amassing assets and real properties for not declaring assets and business interests in their Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN)," the NBI said.
The NBI added that they found an export business – Cangco Dotingco Enterprises – registered under Hilario's driver Dotingco, and which operated from 2014 to 2017 with transactions amounting to P1.7 million.
"Considering that Dino Dotingco has no knowledge and training to qualify him to undertake Import and Export business and since he is living with Atty Hilario, CDE is business transacting without proper office and staff," the NBI said.
It added: "It is clear that there is misrepresentation and that the integrity of the transactions of CDE is questionable. Jerlie Adel, an employee of CDE, was also charged for being a dummy."
Where is NBI in the shabu shipment case? It is unclear whether the NBI is doing the same investigations into the other Customs officials who were tagged in the scandal.
But as it stands now, the other Customs officials including Faeldon and Maestrecampo are free of charges after the Department of Justice (DOJ) junked the motion for reconsideration filed by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).