650 Customs personnel to be replaced: DOF chief
At least 650 personnel of corruption-ridden Bureau of Customs have to be replaced, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said on Tuesday.
The Department of Finance chief said this was the initial estimate he and new Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero came up with during their meeting last week.
"The rough number we came up with was 650 will have to be replaced," he said during Duterte's lecture on drugs and lawless violence as a national security problem, which was attended also by the Cabinet members in Malaca?ang. Only cameramen were allowed to cover the event.
Dominguez did not say who would replace the Customs personnel and why they would be replaced.
But Duterte during the event reiterated that the chiefs of the Customs offices and sections would be on floating status and technical staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines would be deployed at the agency.
"The assistants will be the one to do the job," he said.
As to criticisms about his order for a "military takeover" at the BOC, Duterte explained, "Well I called in the Army to help the Bureau of Customs. There was no designation, there was no appointment and there never an instruction for them to take over the functions of the employed."
"What militarization? Why should you be afraid? Since when did the military commit an abuse here in this country during my term? Since when did I condone any wrongdoing of any military man? Tell me," he added.
Duterte replaced Isidro Lape?a with Guerrero, a retired general, to head the BOC and ordered a "military takeover" after P11-billion worth of shabu allegedly slipped past the agency. Celerina Monte/DMS