Press Release
August 31, 2022

Dela Rosa to Customs: Be transparent, show agri smuggling records

SENATOR Ronald "Bato" Dela Rosa, vice chairperson of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, has asked the Bureau of Customs (BOC) to be transparent and submit the complete records of agriculture smuggling cases in the country.

Dela Rosa also required BOC Acting Commissioner Yogi Filemon L. Ruiz to include records of prosecution and conviction rates of smuggling cases so the Filipino people are aware of the progress of cases.

"It is very important, Mr. Chair, dahil hindi lang Customs ang involved dito, pagdating dito sa mga problemang ito. We've been accusing Customs of inefficiency just like the PNP, palagi nating inaakusahan ang Customs na, "You're inefficient in your job in your anti-smuggling efforts" dahil walang nakonbiktong mga malalaking negosyante, malalaking traders," Dela Rosa noted.

The former top cop said making the records public is important because the people would only know in the news about raids and confiscations by Customs operatives of smuggled goods, but rarely "follow-up" information.

"I'm not imputing malice to these pillars of the criminal justice system. I'm not imputing malice pero just to clear the doubts of the Filipino people, ipakita natin 'yung totoong sitwasyon. Give us the data," he said.

The Mindanaoan Senator said the BOC has been the subject of criticism because it could not show the conviction of big-time traders involved in smuggling.

"Pero let us also observe na Customs is just one part of the criminal justice system. Sila lang ang nag-imbestiga, pag-file, beyond their control na 'yang kaso na 'yan 'pag nasa DOJ (Department of Justice) na. DOJ na nagpo-prosecute. Then, afterwards, kung successfully prosecuted by DOJ ito, pagdating sa korte, 'pag hindi ito nakonbikto, sabihin naman ng prosecutors, 'That's beyond my jurisdiction na', sabi ng DOJ dahil ang korte na ang nag-decide niyan," he said. ######

Commissioner Ruiz gave Dela Rosa his commitment that they will submit the data to the committee and his office.

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