With barely three months left before President Aquino leavesMalacañang, Bureau of Customs (BoC) Commissioner Alberto Lina has yet to make good his promise of divesting his business interests in his companies which directly transacts with the BoC.
According to documents secured by the Tribune, Lina, contrary to his pronouncement in April last year after he was appointed by President Aquino to the BoC replacing John Philip Sevilla, never divested any of his shares in any of his 16 companies.
According to documents released by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) dated April 16, 2016, Lina still holds control over the LGC Logistics, U Freight Philippines, New Ocean, E Konek, 2100 Customs Brokers Inc., Linaheim Corporate Services Inc., Linaheim Corporate Travel & Tours Inc., Dynamic Outsource Solutions Inc., UBE Media Inc., Waste & Resource Mgt. Inc., SolarLina Energy System, Corp., Go 21 Inc., Integrated Waste Mgt. Inc., Credit Solutions and Business Alliances Inc. and Air 21 Global Inc.
Of the 16 Lina companies, at least five has direct dealings with the BoC. They are LGC Logistics, U Freight, New Ocean, E Konek and Air 21.
Last year, after being appointed by Aquino to the post, Lina vowed to divest his shares in the companies that have transactions with the BoC.
He even said he will comply with the law mandating him to divest his shares 60 days upon his appointment as BoC chief.
“I cannot divert these interests to my wife or children. If the companies have dealings with the Bureau of Customs, it should be divested,” Lina was quoted saying then.
Lina added that he also divested his shares from these companies when he was first appointed to head the BoC in 2005. He eventually bought them back one year after he left the bureau.
However, a Tribune source said that while he cannot be sure if Lina really divested his shares in 2005 when he was first appointed to BoC, the SEC documents would prove he has not divested this time.
“He never divested and he still controls those companies,” said the Tribune source.
According to the source, Lina has no plans of giving up his shares in those companies as he had allegedly been assured of being retained as BoC commissioner should independent presidential bet, Sen. Grace Poe-Llamanzares win in the May 9 polls.
“He is a major financial supporter of Senator Poe, and in exchange, he has been promised to be retained as Customs chief,” said the source.