Latest Stories

Conviction rate of smuggling cases: 1 in 100


Ruffy Biazon, Customs, Fake Chinese Beer

Customs Commissioner Rufino Biazon

Of the more than 100 smuggling cases that the Bureau of Customs (BOC) has filed in the past two years, only one has resulted in a conviction, Customs Commissioner Ruffy Biazon said, adding that the bureau was “not to blame for the very low conviction rate.”

“Remember, conviction is not the job of the agency, but of the courts,” he said.

Biazon pointed out that the bureau’s RATS (Run After The Smugglers) program has been consistently filing smuggling cases every other week, but that a “big number of cases (remain) pending in the judicial system, which affects the credibility of the program (and its) success rate.”

Enhanced coordination


The customs chief said the agency plans to have an enhanced coordination with the judiciary and follow up the pending smuggling cases against erring importers and customs brokers who allegedly shipped in at least P60 billion worth of goods.

On July 12, Danilo Villar, owner of Vill Gay Forwarding Services, and his customs broker, Danilo Opiniano, were found guilty by a Manila Regional Trial Court of violating provisions of the Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippines and sentenced to prison terms of eight to nine years.

Car importers


Last week, Biazon announced the filing of smuggling cases against the top officials of car importers JV & A Enterprises and Total Golden Motor Care, Inc., based in Davao City and Cebu City, respectively.

According to the BOC, JV & A Enterprises allegedly brought in P13 million worth of luxury vehicles misdeclared as used industrial equipment, while Total Golden imported P5 million worth of vehicles without the required import permit.

Biazon also vowed to contain meat smuggling in the country’s ports amid complaints from local hog and poultry raisers that the oversupply and dumping of cheaper imported meat in the local market has been killing their business.

“With the rigid processing of all imported meat products, only properly documented imported meat will get through the Customs gates,” the customs chief said, adding that “measures have been put in place to contain meat smuggling, especially at this time of the year when attempts to sneak in illegally imported meat… happen the most.”

Fictitious importers

In another effort to expand the BOC’s antismuggling efforts, Biazon issued Special Order No. 24, creating a task force that would closely scrutinize the business records of BOC-accredited importers and separate them from fictitious ones.

“We will now carefully scrutinize the documents of each accredited importer to validate and verify their actual existence,” he said.

Earlier, Biazon said the BOC was “faced with the challenge of overcoming negative public perception” that it is one of the most corrupt agencies of the government.

In fact, BOC Deputy Commissioner for Administration Juan Lorenzo Tañada told a news conference that if there was one song that the agency could do without, it would be Eva Eugenio’s  jukebox hit, “Tukso  (Temptation).”

“Di pwede ang kantang ‘Tukso, Layuan Mo Ako’ kasi araw-araw andyan eh  (The opportunities for corruption are just too many),”  Tañada quipped.

Anonymous complaints


The BOC official said his office “has been receiving plenty of complaints and white papers about crocodiles and bad elements in the agency. Unfortunately, the complaints do not have signatures. They’re mostly anonymous.”

He added, “I hope these complainants will be man or woman enough to stand behind their complaints. We will not hesitate to bring these corrupt people to court, if not jail.”

Values transformation


Tañada said he strongly believes  that “values transformation is what (corrupt BOC personnel) need,” and that “with BOC top officials leading by example, I think somehow it can be done.”

John Simon, head of the bureau’s provident fund, has called for increases in employee benefits “to prevent personnel from being tempted to engage in corrupt practices.”

“The agency has prioritized computerization and other management reforms. However, it has forgotten one important aspect: personnel and the benefits they deserve to get,” Simon pointed out.

But Tañada assured the public that “reforms are being put in place… with agency targets reasonably met before President Aquino’s term ends in 2016, if not earlier.”

He added: “The light of day is shining in the Bureau of Customs.”

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Bureau of Customs , Government , Graft and corruption , Ruffy Biazon , Smuggling

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. Filipinos second-shortest in Southeast Asia
  2. Afghan hospital guard kills 3 US doctors, including Fil-Am pediatrician
  3. HK victims to get P115M; traders raised money
  4. Career diplomat is new PH consul general in Los Angeles
  5. Senator hopes PH will also get same vow
  6. Filipina, 51, shot dead by 24-year-old American boyfriend
  7. US4GG: Aquino should ask Obama for TPS approval, drone technology
  8. Obama to visit Filipino soldiers in Fort Bonifacio
  9. Believe it or not: Filipinos love US more than Yanks
  10. Abandoned in Malta,15 PH seamen return
  1. Filipina, 51, shot dead by 24-year-old American boyfriend
  2. Japan presents $57-B ‘dream plan’ to solve Metro congestion
  3. Hong Kong accepts PH apology; sanctions also lifted
  4. Japan says visa-free entry still a plan
  5. 85% of Filipinos love US – survey
  6. 10 US presidents who visited the PH (and what they said)
  7. WHO warns vs spread of MERS-Cov, urges vigilance in taking precautions
  8. 19 Ukrainians, Russians, Filipinas rescued in bar raid
  9. 150 Filipino teachers in Maryland to lose jobs, visas
  10. Japan mulls no visa rule for Filipinos
  1. US to China: We will protect Philippines
  2. Japan mulls no visa rule for Filipinos
  3. DFA grants visa-free privilege to 7 countries
  4. China warned: Don’t try to tow away BRP Sierra Madre
  5. Back home in Manila, and feeling out of place
  6. Filipina, 51, shot dead by 24-year-old American boyfriend
  7. Japan presents $57-B ‘dream plan’ to solve Metro congestion
  8. China: PH tarnishing Beijing’s international image
  9. What’s inside BRP Sierra Madre?
  10. Hong Kong accepts PH apology; sanctions also lifted


  • Seabed search for missing Malaysian jet to widen
  • Lacson rejects calls to name ‘pork’ execs
  • Obama due in Seoul as North Korea nuclear test fears grow
  • Hold departure order out vs Corona, Singson
  • Malaysia to release MH370 report–PM
  • Sports

  • Michael Phelps loses to Lochte in comeback meet
  • Sharapova advances to Stuttgart quarterfinals
  • Galedo caps ride of redemption
  • Beermen, Express dispute second semis slot today
  • Lady Agilas upset Lady Bulldogs in four sets
  • Lifestyle

  • ‘Recovered’ Banksy works on display ahead of sale
  • Marinduque: Visiting the ‘palm of the ocean’
  • First at Vatican in 60 years
  • How Jing Monis Salon gave Krissy the pixie
  • Want to be a supermodel? Work on your inner beauty, says Joey Espino
  • Entertainment

  • Paul McCartney to play at Candlestick concert
  • Kristoffer Martin: from thug to gay teen
  • Has Ai Ai fallen deeply with ‘sireno?’
  • California court won’t review Jackson doctor case
  • Cris Villonco on play adapted from different medium
  • Business

  • PAL hailed for ban on shark fin cargo
  • BSP to change tint of P100 bill
  • Nielsen sees car buying boom in the Philippines
  • How author of best-seller exposed ‘one percent’ economic elite
  • Bangko Sentral readies new bank lending rules
  • Technology

  • Cloud strength helps Microsoft earnings top Street
  • Vatican announces hashtag for April 27 canonizations
  • Enrile in Masters of the Universe, Lord of the Rings?
  • Top Traits of Digital Marketers
  • No truth to viral no-visa ‘chronicles’
  • Opinion

  • Corruption not invincible after all
  • Editorial Cartoon, April 25, 2014
  • No deal, Janet
  • Like making Al Capone a witness vs his gang
  • MERS-CoV and mothers
  • Global Nation

  • Filipinos second-shortest in Southeast Asia
  • China welcomes PH apology
  • Only 4 Etihad passengers not accounted for
  • Abandoned in Malta,15 PH seamen return
  • Senator hopes PH will also get same vow
  • Marketplace