I just read a piece of very unnerving news from today’s Philstar column of former Senate President Ernesto Macedo. Let me reprint it now so you can be disturbed enough to also want to share it with other people…
“Customs Commissioner Angelito Alvarez admitted before the House Committee on Ways and Means that the 1,910 missing containers released for transhipment to the Port of Batangas is “just the tip of the iceberg”. He should know. Customs sources reveal it could reach 5,000 or more containers if the record of transhipment to other ports including transshipments of 1,470 from MICP at the North Harbor to the Port of Manila at South Harbor which ended up in an unaccredited bonded warehouse are added up.
Unbelievable but true. The reported 1,470 additional missing containers exposed by Zambales Rep. Mitos Magsaysay in the House hearings brings the total to 3,380 missing containers so far. She promised more revelations. In addition, thousands have been transhipped to Subic, Clark, La Union, Cagayan and Davao.
The House Committee found that this transhipment scam has been going on for 10 months under Commissioner Alvarez controlled by Boy Valenzuela and three well-known big “players” known as Tina, Big Mama and Manny the Saint. “Player” is the term used for Customs operators who mastermind smuggling projects without their names on Customs documents because they just use licensed Customs brokers for a fee and use fake consignees.
The story is that five or six other players wanted to get into the action but were not accommodated so they fed the story to Customs tabloids who exposed the scam in successive issues.
The scam broke out when an alert order was issued for 20 containers by Collector Marissa Galang supposed to be transhipped to Batangas, but instead of being opened and examined in the Port of Manila, it was allowed to leave for Batangas without being x-rayed, but never reached that Port.
For whatever reason, Port of Batangas Collector John Tan blew the whistle and complained that he had only received 309 out of 2,229 containers transhipped to Batangas.
Already exposed, Comm. Alvarez was forced to order an investigation which up to now is still ongoing. It is not true that Comm. Alvarez himself blew the whistle on this gigantic smuggling operation.
This is the first documented case of big time corruption involving billions of lost revenues under the Aquino Administration. Why is Malacañang silent on the matter? The implication is really worrisome.”
Looks like we’re being taken for a chubibo ride. Let’s all get to the bottom of this hocus pocus… demand explanations… and not allow this to slip away with no resolution and no culprit being sent to jail.