BOC black­lists 71 bro­kers, im­porters

Manila Bulletin - - Front Page - By AR­GYLL CYRUS B. GEDUCOS

Bureau of Cus­toms (BOC) Com­mis­sioner Ni­canor Fael­don has made good of his threat last De­cem­ber to black­list mis­fits deal­ing with the BOC and can­celled yes­ter­day the ac­cred­i­ta­tion of 71 cus­toms bro­kers and im­porters.

“We will be delist­ing im­porters and bro­kers who prac­tice il­licit trade in the Bureau of Cus­toms for the past six years,” Fael­don said. He ad­mit­ted, though, that it would be a dif­fi­cult task to trace th­ese il­licit trans­ac­tions

way back to 2011.

Th­ese il­licit prac­tices in­clude the un­der­val­u­a­tion and mis­dec­la­ra­tion of ship­ments.

Mean­while, the list of 71 black­listed by Fael­don con­tained the names of Cus­toms bro­kers and im­porters from the Port of Manila (POM) and the Manila In­ter­na­tional Con­tainer Port (MICP) who had been in­volved in il­licit trade since July, 2016.

“We have 11,000 im­porters. We have to clean them. Sila ang gu­mugulo sa im­age ng Bureau of Cus­toms (They’re the ones tar­nish­ing the name of the Bureau of Cus­toms),” he said.

“Part of the clean­ing is the peo­ple trans­act­ing with the Bureau, ’di lang yung mga tao dito (and not only the ones who work here).”

He added that they will also be check­ing the trans­ac­tions of th­ese of­fend­ers abroad but said their il­licit prac­tice in the coun­try is al­ready enough to delist them.

Banned for life

Fael­don said the 71 of­fend­ers are now banned from trans­act­ing or do­ing busi­ness in­side the Bureau.

“They are per­ma­nently delisted un­til proven other­wise. They have to prove that the mal­prac­tice is un­in­ten­tional,” he said.

He said th­ese of­fend­ers were al­ready in­formed that they were get­ting black­listed last Tues­day and will only have three days to ap­peal and ex­plain their side. How­ever, only five from the list submitted their ap­peal.

They are Coco Tech­nolo­gies Cor­po­ra­tion, Harbinger In­ter­na­tional Trad­ing, Man­hat­tan Chem­i­cal Cor­po­ra­tion, Ri­cho Mar­ket­ing, and Unifine En­ter­prises.

The Cus­toms chief added that the of­fend­ers can still be rea­cred­dited but they have to de­lib­er­ate first af­ter they come up with the com­plete list start­ing 2011.

“Pag-aar­alan namin ng six months. ‘Pag isang be­ses lang nagka­mali baka pwede pa pag­bi­gyan (We’ll de­lib­er­ate for six months. If he has only done the il­le­gal prac­tice once, then we might give an­other shot),” he said.

Cases on hold

Fael­don said they would only ban th­ese of­fend­ers for now, but did not dis­count the fil­ing of cases against them.

“We would start col­lect­ing ev­i­dence on pos­si­ble fil­ing of cases against them. If the ev­i­dence against them war­rants the fil­ing of crim­i­nal cases, why not?” he said.

The Bureau’s le­gal de­part­ment would be the one to re­view the pos­si­bil­ity of fil­ing crim­i­nal charges against the of­fend­ers.

“Ad­min­is­tra­tively, this is our func­tion. We have to com­ply with our man­date.”

The pub­lic should know

Fael­don said he chose to re­veal the list be­cause the pub­lic is en­ti­tled to know who th­ese of­fend­ers are.

“Sus­petsa (kasi ng mga tao) we are pro­tect­ing them (Peo­ple are sus­pect­ing that we are pro­tect­ing th­ese of­fend­ers). Why would we pro­tect them? I want to pro­tect the wel­fare of the peo­ple. Not th­ese few peo­ple who are mak­ing money out of il­licit trade,” he said.

He added that the list is in­tended to help the pub­lic, es­pe­cially the mil­lions of over­seas Filipino work­ers (OFWs), avoid trans­act­ing with the of­fend­ers.

“We have to warn the pub­lic be­cause they go to them for im­por­ta­tion ac­tiv­i­ties. OFWs wll use them for for­ward­ing [baka hindi nila alam] ’yun pala naka ban na (they may not know that some of them are al­ready banned),” he said.

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