Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III ordered the Bureau of Internal Revenue and Bureau of Customs to run after cigarette counterfeiters and their possible cohorts in the government who allow the entry of unlicensed cigarette-making machines in the country.
Dominguez also ordered Commissioners Isidro Lapeña of the BoC and Caesar Dulay of the BIR to disable the confiscated machines so that they would no longer be usable.
Dulay and Lapeña were also told to find out how the machines used to manufacture the fake cigarettes uncovered in recent operations in Luzon and Mindanao were able to enter the country undetected by authorities.
“I want to hit them with everything you’ve got, the Customs and the BIR, and get to the bottom of this,” Dominguez told officials of the two bureaus during a recent executive committee meeting of the Department of Finance.
Dominguez issued the directive after the BIR reported its strike team had raided several warehouses storing smuggled and counterfeit cigarettes in Malabon and Manila. The raids yielded a total of 531 master cases of fake and smuggled cigarettes bearing various brands