Guevarra orders 'thorough' NBI probe into Customs corruption
MANILA, Philippines – Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra has ordered the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to investigate allegations of corruption at the Bureau of Customs (BOC).
Guevarra said in a memorandum to the NBI on Friday, July 25, that his order was based on President Rodrigo Duterte's renewed call for an end to corruption at the BOC, in his latest State of the Nation Address (SONA).
"The NBI, through Director Dante A. Gierran, is hereby directed and granted authority to conduct a thorough investigation and case build-up on the alleged graft and corrupt practices in the Bureau of Customs, as mentioned in the 4th State of the Nation Address of President Rodrigo R. Duterte," Guevarra said in his order.
What corruption? Duterte had earlier relieved around 60 Customs officials and personnel accused of corruption.
He reiterated his bid to rid the BOC of corrupt officials in his 4th SONA.
"All of them will go out from the premises of the Customs. Period. I do not want them back," Duterte had said.
Eyes glued to BOC: The Office of the Ombudsman announced on Wednesday, July 24, that it will initiate a probe into the corruption allegations at the BOC.
"The Office of the Ombudsman has ordered an in-depth investigation into alleged graft and corrupt practices perpetrated by officials and employees of the Bureau of Customs which may lead to criminal and administrative charges," the office said in a press release on Wednesday.
Aside from the BOC, the President had also zeroed in on the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, ordering the closure of lotto, small town lottery, and other PCSO games over corruption allegations.
Duterte had given the orders in relation to the BOC and the PCSO, even after he had entrusted them to former military chief Rey Leonardo Guerrero and former Cebu City police chief Royina Garma, respectively. – Rappler.com