Duterte mulls of buying X-ray machine for BOC
President Rodrigo Duterte said the government may purchase another X-ray machine for the Bureau of Customs to fully inspect all the containers that arrive in the country.
The plan came after P11-billion worth of illegal drugs allegedly slipped past the BOC last August.
"So the best thing to do here is to buy another X-ray machine to be able to thoroughly inspect the 7,000 containers," Duterte said in a speech in Cagayan de Oro City on Wednesday night.
He said he would not take the risk of having illegal drugs managed to enter again the country.
Duterte earlier directed the Armed Fores of the Philippines to "takeover" the Customs following the alleged shabu shipment that was allegedly contained in the four empty magnetic lifters that were found in Cavite three months ago.
"I told the chief of staff of Army to open everything and to throw it in the sea if they're not contented just to avoid any more issues. Tell them (owners of the containers), we'll pay them tomorrow. Why should we take the risk?" he said.
Duterte said with an average of 7,000 containers daily to be inspected, there could be instances that contraband slipped past the BOC personnel either because of stupidity or intentional on the part of the BOC personnel.
"You know why they managed to get away with it? Everyday they inspect an average of 7,000 containers. Sometimes it's stupidity, other times it's intentional. That's why they managed to get away with it," he stressed.
Thus, he said this was the reason he asked the military to be deployed to the BOC.
"And then I had them trained to read/operate the X-ray machine," he added.
Due to the shabu mess at the BOC, Isidro Lapena was removed as Customs Commissioner and has been transferred to the Technical Education and Skills and Development Authority. Former Maritime Industry Authority head Rey Leonardo Guerrero, a retired military general, replaced Lapena at the BOC. Celerina Monte/DMS