THE Bureau of Customs reshuffled key officials, including shabu whistleblower Lourdes Mangaoang, who was back as the bureau’s X-Ray division chief, while BoC spokesperson Erastus Austria was assigned as acting district collector of the Manila International Container Port.
In a personnel order signed by Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero and approved by Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez, the order also transferred Acting Port of Manila district collector Maritess Martin to Subic Port, replacing lawyer Rhea Gregorio who was reassigned as acting head of the POM.
Mangaoang, who previously held the post as deputy collector at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, became controversial after exposing the P11 billion worth of shabu in magnetic lifter that slipped out of the bureau while under the watch of former Customs Commissioner Isidro Lapeña.
The XIP is the BoC office in charge of monitoring and training Customs X-ray personnel across the country.
Mangaoang was a key figure in the recent congressional investigation of the four magnetic lifters that slipped through the Manila International Container Terminal and later found in a Cavite warehouse emptied of its contents.
Drug enforcement authorities believe the lifters contained an estimated 1.6 tons of shabu, valued at P11 billion.
The new BoC-X ray chief vows to “professionalize” all X-ray inspectors and stop the bata-bata system or the culture of patronage in the bureau.
Also affected by the personnel movement were former XIP acting chief Romeo Guan who is now detailed to the X-ray Inspection Project, while former Manila International Container Port collector Felimon Mendoza Jr., was detailed to the bureau’s Compliance Monitoring Unit.