MANILA The Bureau of Customs (BOC) on Friday stressed that only tapioca starch and not shabu was auctioned off at the Manila International Container Port (MICP) last month.
As far as the BOC is concerned, what was auctioned in April 2019 was Tapioca Starch which is highly perishable in nature, the bureau said in a statement.
The BOC made the statement in response to the privilege speech of Senator Panfilo Lacson on Wednesday, who expressed suspicion on the auction of several containers supposedly containing over 110 bags of tapioca, which he tagged as a cover-up for a botched drug delivery by corrupt Bureau officials.
The BOC also agreed with the lawmaker that the auction of prohibited items is not allowed under Republic Act 10863, otherwise known as the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA).
Under the law, prohibited goods, including illegal drugs apprehended by the Bureau should be destructed.
The bureau, however, vowed to probe unscrupulous Customs personnel.
Meanwhile, a thorough investigation is now being conducted on the matter to look into the personalities involved in the importation of illegal drugs, the statement said.
The BOC noted that actions against illegal drugs is the primary responsibility of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA)
The bureau maintains close coordination with the said agency (PDEA) to ensure the timely and efficient apprehension of illegal drugs as well as the people involved, the statement added.
At the same time, the Bureau is coordinating with Lacson's office on the issues he had raised during his speech. (PNA)
Source: Philippines News Agency