Duterte: Military to take over Customs

Photo by Simeon Celi Jr/Presidential photo

By Robert Vergara/CNN Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte on Sunday said the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) will take over the Bureau of Customs (BOC), as all employees of the agency are on a floating status.

“I’d like to put on notice, everybody in the Bureau of Customs, they are all [on] floating status, they can maybe start again working, but as I said said they are [on] floating status,” Duterte said in his speech during the birthday celebration of former Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Cayetano in Davao City.

“They will be replaced, all of them, by military men. It will be a takeover of the armed forces in the matter of operating in the mean time while we are sorting out how to effectively meet the challenges of corruption in this country,” he added.

Duterte said he had asked Customs chief Rey Leonardo Guerrero to request the provider of X-ray machines at the BOC to train the technical personnel of the AFP.

“I call Jagger (Guererro) and said you might want to talk to your boss, Finance secretary, ask him if the guys who supplied the X-ray can send a representative here to teach our technical men in the armed forces,” he said.

The President said he will issue a memorandum requiring all Customs employees to report directly to him.

“The Customs intelligence unit, they are to report to Malacañang, all of them. I’m ordering everybody to report to my office. Maybe I’ll issue the memorandum, I have yet to sign it. They will hold office there at the Malacañang Gymnasium. Lahat,” he said.

Duterte said he cannot immediately dismiss everyone working at the bureau as he wants to follow the law.

“That’s the reason why we cannot just dismiss them. Almost all of them there have been charged of corruption, lahat yan sila may kaso and yet we cannot just move on because we want to be lawfully correct. Dahan-dahan lang tayo,” he said.

“But with this kind of dirty games that they’re playing I’m forced now to ask the armed forces to take over,” he added.

The organizational shakeup, Duterte explained, is in line with his declaration of a state of lawlessness in the country during the early part of his term as the president.

“Remember I have issued, during the first days of my term, this is the declaration of lawlessness. Part of the lawless elements is there inside the Bureau of Customs,” he said.

This development comes amid the controversies hounding the BOC regarding the multi-billion peso worth of illegal drugs that slipped into the country last month.

Authorities in August found magnetic lifters in Cavite believed to have contained shabu worth P11 billion. This happened just after 500 kilograms of shabu were intercepted in two other magnetic lifters at the Manila International Container Port.

Duterte last week replaced Isidro Lapeña as the head of the bureau amid controversies over shabu worth billions of pesos that slipped past the agency under his watch. The President assigned him to the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority. Guerrero, formerly a Maritime Industry Authority administrator and Armed Forces Chief of Staff, took over the position.

Find more like this: News

  • U.N. Rights Council to Investigate Killings in Philippine Drug War
  • Philippines declares national alert after 456 die from dengue fever
  • Trying to save the stories of a Philippine culture, one scan at a time
  • Pinoy archaeologist brings new human species discovery to Australia
  • Philippines a slowly ageing society – PIDS study
  • Page 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7


  • Nickelodeon releases first look at rebooted classic kids program Blue’s Clues with Filipino-American host Joshua Dela Cruz
  • How Marvel’s first featured Pinoy superhero can save society
  • This play tells the urgent story of a Filipino comfort woman
  • Will ‘Sahaya’ be the first Pinoy series on Netflix?
  • Z-GIRLS, Z-BOYS with Pinoy members to debut in Korea
  • MORE...


  • My story, and the new story of Filipino immigration
  • An appreciation of Moro food can bring Pinoy Muslims and Christians closer, says this Muslim chef
  • Showcase of PH culture, heritage
  • US and Philippines: Friends, Partners, and Allies
  • A Transgender Paradox, and Platform, in the Philippines
  • MORE...


  • Northern Blossom Flower Farm: Atok’s floral carpet
  • Philippines records ‘all-time high’ 7.1M tourist arrivals in 2018
  • Philippines island Boracay reopens for test run following huge cleanup
  • Philippines closes ‘cesspool’ tourist island of Boracay
  • Boracay Set to Ban Tourists for Six Months During Island ‘Rehabilitation’
  • MORE...


  • Filipino speed skater bags spot in 2020 Winter Youth Olympics
  • Pinoy gymnast Carlo Yulo earns historic qualification in worlds
  • Finding a way to bring the NBA to the Philippines
  • First Filipino table tennis Olympian Ian “Yanyan” Lariba dies at 23
  • Skateboarder Margielyn Didal wins 4th gold for Philippines
  • MORE...

    OFW News

  • Filipino maids’ dragon boat team makes splash in Hong Kong
  • DOLE suspends OFW deployment to Kuwait
  • Some OFWs turn to vlogging to beat loneliness, share life abroad
  • Overseas Filipino Bank to serve immigrants, workers
  • The ‘bagong bayani’ of the Philippines
  • MORE...


  • ‘Sordid Chapter’ Ends As Philippines Sends Back Canada’s Trash
  • Southeast Asia became dumping ground for plastic waste – study
  • Boracay Set to Ban Tourists for Six Months During Island ‘Rehabilitation’
  • Boracay: the good, bad and ugly sides to Philippine island for tourists
  • Luzon has greatest concentration of unique mammals
  • MORE...

    Pinoy Places
    and Faces