Photo from DTI-EMB Facebook page
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has appointed Vincent Maronilla, Manila International Container Port district collector, to the Bureau of Customs (BOC), despite allegations that he accepts bribes.
According to appointment papers signed on Tuesday, April 3, Maronilla, an alumnus of San Beda like Duterte, is now an assistant commissioner at the BOC.
Vincent Maronilla, implicated by customs broker Mark Taguba in customs corruption, appointed customs assistant commissioner by #PresidentDuterte @rapplerdotcom pic.twitter.com/GLWIpJgOlM — Pia Ranada (@piaranada) April 4, 2018
Maronilla was among the Customs officials whom broker Mark Taguba named during a Senate hearing as accepting "tara" or grease money.
Senator Panfilo Lacson also included Maronilla's name in his "tara" list – what he claimed to be a carefully vetted and cross-matched list of names of officials who accept bribes from "players".
Maronilla has denied that his office ever received bribes from anyone or that he asked his staff to accept bribes on his behalf.
Maronilla is now the 3rd person in Lacson's and Taguba's list of alleged bribe-takers to be reappointed by Duterte to a new government post.
Before him, Duterte appointed Milo Maestrecampo and Gerardo Gambala to the Department of Transportation (DOTr).
Maestrecampo, former Bureau of Customs import assessment services director Milo Maestrecampo, is now assistant director general of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP).
Gambala, former deputy Customs commissioner, is now director of the Office of Transportation Security.
Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque previously defended their appointment by insisting on their innocence.
"It must be because these two officials were found not to be in any way involved in the P6.4-billion [drug smuggling] scandal," said Roque back in November 2017.
Lacson and Taguba made public their accusations of corruption amid public outrage over P6.4-billion worth of shabu that found its way into the Philippines from China.
Also implicated in the drug smuggling was former customs chief Nicanor Faeldon, whom Duterte also appointed deputy administrator III of the Office of Civil Defense.
Promotion in DILG
Quinsay, a former police intelligence chief, is now interior undersecretary. It's a promotion for him as he had been serving as assistant secretary in the same department, put in charge of the Bureau of Fire Protection.
Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.