Mayor asks BoC for protocol on LGU action vs smuggling PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 08 January 2015 13:59

Mayor Beng Climaco has asked Customs Commissioner John Phillip Sevilla to come up with guidelines and protocol pertaining to campaigns against smuggling undertaking by local government units in coordination with police, military and other line agencies.

This, in view of what she described as slow response from the Bureau of Customs when police and military authorities intercepted a motorboat loaded with alleged smuggled sugar in barangay Sangali Tuesday morning.

“Per report,  the PNP and Coast Guard responded but it took 12 hours for the Bureau of Customs to allow Coast Guard and PDEA to inspect the boat. There is a lapse in Customs response to line agencies who assist them in the campaign against smuggling,” the appalled Mayor Climaco said after an emergency meeting with the authorities yesterday morning at the BOC building at the port area.

A check with the Customs Central Office, according to the mayor,  the sugar regulatory agency did not grant any permit for any sugar shipment. “Initial findings focus on the legality of confiscated sacks of sugar. The PNP, Army, Coast Guard and LGU are doing their share to stop smuggling yet the gap lies with (the Bureau of) Customs slow response.”

City Police Director Col. Angelito Casimiro reported that elements from Police Station 3 (barangay Sangali) led by PSI Joel Tuttuh and 21st Infantry Battalion, PA led by 1Lt. Irvin Hibaler and the Phil. Coast Guard conducted operations against smuggling activities along the coastal areas of barangay Sangali and Bolong  around 9am Tuesday (Jan. 6) that resulted to the apprehension of 8 crew members of M/L Ylaiza Maye V  and 6 laborers.

Confiscated were 1,146 sacks of 50 kilos alleged smuggled sugar and upon verification, the motorboat’s crew members failed to present pertinent papers for the sugar being transported. The owner of the vessel was identified as Mayor Abdulsalih Asmadon of Jolo Sulu and the owner of the sugar was a certain “Hasim.”

Philippine Coast Guard personnel issued Enforcement Inspection Apprehension Report (EIAR) for the said violation and certificate of inspection.

From the site, the motorboat, escorted by Coast Guard, Police and Army troops, was brought to the PPA wharf around 8:10pm the same day. The vessel, cargoes and crew were formally received by a representative from the Zamboanga Bureau of Customs at 9am of Wednesday (Jan. 7) for proper disposition.