FTA hits customs officials

THE multisectoral Fair Trade Alliance (FTA) through its labor convenor Angelito Mendoza hits the appointment of Batangas Customs Collector Napoleon Morales to the post of BOC Commissioner and the reinstatement of Customs Deputy Commissioner Reynaldo Nicolas.

Mendoza pointed out that Mr. Morales was allegedly involved in a smuggling case as reported by Task Force on Anti-Smuggling (TFAS) while Mr. Nicolas was reportedly found to have failed the government’s lifestyle check.

According to Mendoza, “The appointment of Morales and the reinstatement of Nicolas are patently incompatible with the vaunted government’s drive versus smuggling in the country. Such moves send wrong signals to those perpetrators of smuggling.”

Likewise, FTA bats for the immediate reconstitution of anti-smuggling agencies Cabinet Oversight Committee Against Smuggling (COCAS) and Task Force on Anti-Smuggling (TFAS) in order to resume the government’s honest to good ness crack down on smuggling which has multiplied several folds since the two anti-smuggling agencies were put on hold.

According to FTA, NASTF have been very effective in the fight against smuggling. NASTF filed and pursued 62 anti-smuggling cases, inspected 2,755 reefer vans, and made recommendations to resolve smuggling such as the enactment of a law to make smuggling a heinous crime, extensive gathering of information on imports of raw materials, reduction and identification of the custom-bonded warehouses (CBWs), and random inspection of 15 ports nationwide.

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