REP. Juliette Uy of Misamis Oriental’s 2nd District urged the Bureau of Customs to open and check 880 cargo containers which the Commission on Audit (COA) said may pose risk or hazards to the Mindanao Container Terminal in Tagoloan town.
The containers, she said, were found to have been “overstaying.”
“These 880 containers could very well contain garbage or hazardous materials illegally imported by their respective consignees. Remember, the garbage shipments in Tagoloan port were discovered after they overstayed at the port,” said Uy, citing the latest 2018 audit report on Customs operations.
She said inter-agency teams with experts from non-government organizations would need to inspect the containers.
Uy said she has long suspected imported garbage was being smuggled into the country not just through the port of Tagoloan.
She said the “smuggling activities are conspiracy operations,” and that these could not be done without the connivance of insiders in the key agencies of government.
“As we have learned from the probe into the Tagoloan shipments, documents were doctored, collaborators let the shipments be unloaded, and insiders enabled the consignees,” Uy said.
Uy said the money trail and the document trail of each cargo container must be ascertained to identify the culprits, build criminal cases, file charges, and prosecute them in court. (PR)