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BoC chief tagged as having protected agricultural smugglers

Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero and nine other government officials have been identified as alleged protectors of agricultural smugglers in the Philippines. This came to light in a 63-page report of the Senate Committee released on Monday, on the alleged proliferation of smuggled vegetables and agri-fishery products worth P667.5 million from 2019 to 2022.

Senate President Vicente "Tito" Sotto III, chairman of the Committee of the Whole, on May 17 received a list that identified customs and agricultural officials allegedly protecting smugglers of agricultural products. The same list also contained names of alleged smugglers of agricultural products operating in major ports nationwide such as in Cebu, Cagayan de Oro, Subic, Batangas and Manila International Container Port in the Port of Manila.

According¸ Agriculture Secretary William Dar has issued a statement on the inclusion of Department of Agriculture officials in the list of alleged agri-smuggling protectors: "Let the three officials named in the report face their accusers, present their respective evidence to disprove the allegations, and defend themselves in the proper courts.”


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