By NITZ ARANCON
THE entire customs bureau organization at the Mindanao International Container Terminal in Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental, including the port police there, are now under investigation in connection with the release of over a hundred container vans of goods believed to have been misdeclared.
Even the official who supposedly discovered the anomaly, district collector Jamail Marohomsalic, and some of his subordinates in Barangay Macabalan, this city, would be investigated, said Bobbyjam Gagambino, assistant chief of the customs bureau’s public information division.
Marohomsalic, he said, would need to answer because the container vans slipped out from a port that was under his jurisdiction. “Tungod sa rason nga iyang command responsibility ang port of Tagoloan nga didto dunay iyang nadiskobre nga mga container van nga nakalusot nga walay proper documents,” he said.
Gagambino said Marohomsalic cannot be exempted from the investigation even if he was the official who discovered the anomaly.
But Gagambino said Marohomsalic and his subordinates in Macabalan and Tagoloan who were not ordered to report to the compliance monitoring unit of the BOC, need not submit their affidavits.
Gagambino revealed this yesterday after the Bureau’s legal department directed relieved Tagoloan port collector Samson Pacasum on Wednesday to submit an affidavit and explain why many container vans slipped out of the Tagoloan port without proper documents.
Also ordered to do the same thing were Bernie Solas, Wilbur Hal Villanueva, Rolando Garcia and Ma. Chona Sarte.
The Manila Bulletin reported that some 110 questionable container vans were released from the Tagoloan port since February. The same report said some of the container vans were believed to have contained thousands of bags of sugar, flour, and rice.
Gagambino said Pacasum and the others the investigation is being carried out by Customs chief investigator Ronnie Puno.
Gagambino said some of those placed under investigation have gone on leave but “gitawagan na sila nga mo-comply sa order sa investigator.”
He said those who did not take a leave of absence were on “floating” status at the Compliance Monitoring Unit of the customs bureau in northern Mindanao.
Gagambino said all the officials and employees of the customs bureau at the MICT were all under investigation by Puno and his group composed of lawyers Jojo Lagat and Roswald Pague. Lagat is the legal officer of the customs bureau in Davao City while Pague is the deputy collector of the BOC District Office 10 in Macabalan.
He said even the entire port police at the MICT are also under investigation.
“Naay pipila ka ma-imbistigahan nga gikan dinhi sa district office sa Bureau of Customs apan dili hino-on tanan. Sa MICT in Tagoloan, tanan gyud sila,” said Gagambino.