Two traders and one licensed customs broker were included in the growing list of persons formally charged by the Bureau of Customs (BOC) today (August 1, 2013), when Customs officials led by Customs Commissioner Ruffy Biazon, Deputy Commissioner for Intelligence Group ( IG) Danilo Lim and Deputy Commissioner for Revenue Collection and Monitoring Group and Run-After-The-Smugglers (RATS) Head Peter Manzano, formally charged Victorious One Enterprises owner Roger P. Peniguar, Highest Regard Enterprises owner Jose B. Hernandez and their common licensed customs broker Michelle J. Nepacina for violation of Sections 3601 and 3602, in relation to Sections 2503 and 2530 of the Tariffs and Customs Code of the Philippines (TCCP) as amended, and also the Sugar Regulatory Rules and Regulations, in relation to Joint Memorandum Oder (JMO) No. 4-2002.
According to Biazon the case against the three stemmed from their earlier attempt to smuggle PhP 26 million worth of rice and sugar from Vietnam and Thailand without the required permits from the National Food Authority (NFA) and the Sugar Regulatory Authority (SRA). Highest Regard Enterprises declared its eight (8) 20 footer container vans of illegally imported sugar from Thailand worth PhP 10 million and 3 twenty-footer container vans of rice from Vietnam worth PhP 13 million as steel frames, steel coils and hinges.
Victorious Enterprises for its part, also declared its 3 twenty-footer container vans of smuggled rice from Vietnam worth PhP 3 million as steel frames, steel coils and hinges. The Victorious Enterprises hot rice importation arrived in the early part of June this year, while that of the Highest Regard Enterprises’ hot rice and sugar importations arrived in May, also this year. Both importations were, however, seized by alert operatives of the Intelligence group under Lim,upon their arrival, after confirming the misdeclarations on both shipments.
“The cases we have filed today against Peniguar, Hernandez and Nepacina will be aggressively pursued by the BOC’s Run-After-The-Smugglers (RATS) group. We need to have more convictions in light of President Aquino’s order to reform the BOC and curb smuggling.” Biazon said, adding that, “And in compliance with the President’s order, we will see to it that no stone will be left unturned in our legal pursuit against those involved in smuggling, no matter who are the powerful and influential people behind smugglers.”
Biazon gave strict order to RATS Head and Deputy Commissioner for Revenue Collection and Monitoring Group Peter Manzano to focus on all the cases filed against smugglers at the Department of Justice (DOJ) and to get favourable resolutions for the government at the soonest possible time.