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Duterte clarifies military take over of Customs

President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday, November 6, clarified his previous order for the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to “take over” the Bureau of Customs (BOC).

In his speech during his talk on militarization and drugs, Duterte said that his order was only for the AFP to assist in the bureau while heads and officials of the office are on floating status.

“When I called in the Army, the Bureau of Customs, there was no designation, there was no appointment and there was never an instruction for them to take over the functions of the employees,” Duterte said.

“What I did is just to really order them on floating status, but that was a particular order directed for chiefs of offices and section chiefs. Their assistants will still work,” he added.

In October, Duterte ordered AFP: “It will be a takeover of the Armed Forces in the matter of operating, in the meantime, while we are sorting out how to effectively meet the challenges of corruption in this country.”

Duterte also claimed that the Customs does not have “law and order” which is the reason behind the  P11-billion shabu shipment controversy during former customs chief Isidro Lapeña’s term.

He added that until order is imposed in the bureau, the military will remain its presence in the office.

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