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Oil smuggling: Former Philippines Customs’ chief calls for investigation

Oil smuggling: Former Philippines Customs’ chief calls for investigation

MANILA: The former chief of the Bureau of Customs’ (BOC) Davao collection district denied al the charges against his alleged involvement in oil smuggling, among other irregularities.

Retired Army Brig. Gen. Ernesto Aradanas, who was relieved of his post on Oct. 1, has called for due process and an impartial investigation of his case.

“All that I ask is that due process be observed and an impartial investigation be conducted (by the BOC) in the interest of truth and justice to set the records straight and with God’s grace, clear my name in the process,” said Aradanas in a recent letter to the Inquirer.

“Sadly, until now, the flawed intelligence report of the BOC Intelligence Group remains unrectified and the conduct of a proper investigation of the case has not been pursued by the BOC Investigation Division,” he said.

The BOC is an attached agency of the Department of Finance (DOF).

Aradanas said he was “affronted by reports released to the media and the public that imply misconduct on my part, as well as the Port of Davao’s part, as I had been slighted by the arbitrary termination of my service and my relief as district collector of the Davao port, mainly because the stated reasons are not veritable and the allegations unfounded.”

He claimed he was “above board on this case,” saying he had performed his duties and responsibilities “in accordance with the Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippines and other pertinent laws.”

“Under my short watch, the Port of Davao had been given a Certificate of Recognition for Outstanding Performance during the first semester of 2014 by the bureau. Understandably, I created ‘enemies’ and mercenary and self-interested detractors along the way,” he said.