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Philippines new Customs chief vows ‘zero tolerance’ for corruption
Philippines new Customs chief Customs Commissioner Isidro Lapeña

Philippines new Customs chief vows ‘zero tolerance’ for corruption

MANILA: On his first day on the job, new Customs Commissioner Isidro Lapeña vowed to regain public trust in his agency by observing “zero tolerance” for corruption in the Bureau of Customs (BOC).

Lapeña, outgoing chief of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), bared his plan at the BOC turnover ceremonies on Wednesday, August 30, where he officially took over the post from Nicanor Faeldon.

“I will exercise zero tolerance against corruption in the bureau,” the retired police general told BOC officials and employees.

He gave fair warning to those who would not join him in his bid to reform the agency.

“Help me do my job. I cannot do it alone. I need everyone to be on board with me. I still believe that many good men and women remain here in the bureau. Do not let the unscrupulous few continue to destroy the name of the BOC. If you are not with me, step aside because I am looking to steamroll major changes across the bureau,” Lapeña said.

He said he will replicate his “one-strike policy” in PDEA at the BOC “to boost internal cleansing which, of course, shall be supported by intensified counter-intelligence efforts.”

“I intend to give each of you a clean slate, so we can move forward. Just do your work. Prove your worth, and I will back you up. But once I receive reports of your involvement with corrupt practices and such reports are validated: I will not think twice. Pasensiyahan tayo (Well, that’s life),” he told the BOC.