Mayor orders police to arrest smugglers PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 22 August 2016 14:09

By SHEILA COVARRUBIAS

Mayor Beng Climaco has ordered the police and other law enforcement agencies to use the full force of the law and arrest people involved in smuggling activities perpetrated within the jurisdiction of Zamboanga City.

This, even as she expressed continuous dismay over the inability or lack of initiative on the part of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) to cooperate and support efforts of the police, the local government including the barangays against smugglers.

“Ta man warn yo con aquellos ta hace entra contraband items [into the city] in the guise of having legal documents, my instruction to the police is to check the documents and if they are not in accordance with the transactions, hulihin sila,” the mayor said in an interview the other day.

Mayor Climaco said the local government together with the barangay councils, police and other law enforcement agencies are exhausting best efforts to intercept smuggling activities however, the efforts become futile as the Bureau of Customs do not do their part well.

The mayor cited instances in the past when the police together with barangay officials intercepted thousands of sacks of rice and sugar brought into the city aboard ferries that turned out to be an effort in futility. When the matter was reported to the Bureau of Customs for coordination, the latter would either say that it lacked people or it does not operate after office hours. “When our authorities intercepted over 1,500 sacks of smuggled sugar two years ago, when the items were brought to the Bureau of Customs, the number of sacks became only 300.”

“Bien claro cay ta hace el maga pulis, el govierno local y maga barangay el di ila trabajo contra smuggling pero cosa el [Bureau of] Customs ta hace?”, the mayor questioned.  “The local government down to the barangays do their job, but there is a gap and the gap lies in the congruent action, if one sector is doing its work but the agency that is supposed to be in the forefront of this campaign is not doing its job then nothing will happen.”

Nevertheless, the chief executive said, the police and other law enforcement agencies are tasked to continue and intensify their campaign and to apprehend all those involved in the illegal activity.

She added that the local government will continuously support the authorities in their anti-smuggling efforts. — Sheila Covarrubias