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PDEA officer in Valenzuela drug raid eyed for customs post

PDEA officer in Valenzuela drug raid eyed for customs post

MANILA: Following the resignation of Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service chief Neil Estrella, Bureau of Customs (BOC) Commissioner Isidro Lapena is looking to get Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) regional director Wilkins Villanueva on board as the new CIIS chief.

Lapena said he intended to appoint two other PDEA officers to hold additional critical posts within the BOC.

“I have Genaral Ricardo Quinto, the director general for operation and Director Gladys Rosales. I have requested them. I have made a request to the Office of the President for their assignment as deputy commissioners in the bureau,” said Lapena.

The requests have been made, though these are currently unofficial. “I can make the pronouncement once the paper works are done,” Lapena added.

Estrella stepped down as chief of the CIIS amid a controversy surrounding a shabu shipment from China worth P6.4 billion that got past customs officials. His potential replacement, Villanueva, was among the PDEA officers who took part in the raid on a Valenzuela warehouse the contraband was discovered.

Lapena assumed the role of BOC Commissioner last August 30, and has been eyeing personnel “who have my trust and confidence to man critical posts” to take over key assignments in the bureau.

“I can’t afford trial and error,” he said.

The BOC commissioner also said he would work on the promotion system within the BOC. “I’ve learned that there are employees who have yet to be promoted for many years. We will work on that as we move forward.”