NBI files graft charges vs. DENR, BOC personnel

The National Bureau of Investigation has filed graft charges before the Department of Justice against eight government personnel found liable through a series of acts leading to the illegal importation of solid wastes from Canada.

NBI Director Dante Gierran said upon instruction of Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra, the NBI conducted an investigation and case buildup on the persons responsible for the importation of garbage from Canada. 

After almost nine months of exhaustive investigation the NBI-Environmental Crime Division filed on Jan. 17, 2020 graft charges against DENR Undersecretary lawyer Juan  Miguel T. Cuna, DENR-Environmental Management Bureau personnel Irvin G. Cadavona , Geri Geronimo R. Sanez and Renato T. Cruz, and Bureau of Customs personnel Benjamin T. Perez JR., Eufracio L. Ednaco, Matilda G. Bacongan, Jose A. Saromo.

Based on the foregoing facts and evidence, the above-mentioned suspects  were recommended for prosecution before the Office of the Prosecutor General, Department of Justice, for violation of RA 6969 (Toxic Substances and Hazardous and Nuclear Waste Control Act of 1990) and RA 3019 (Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act).

Gierran said based on the NBI investigation, Chronic Plastics Inc., Canada were issued import clearances for its various importation of scrap plastic materials despite its failure to provide all the necessary information needed for the application of their import clearance. 

Accordingly, the EMB personnel-in-charge in the processing of the application were remiss in their duties to strictly examine the application, as to the completeness of the required documents and to the required inspection prior to the approval of its registration as importer. 

Without the necessary information, the EMB cannot sufficiently determine that Chronic Plastics Inc. is capable of recycling the materials to be imported. However, despite lacking the specific requirement and without inspection being made, the application was still being processed and recommended its approval to the EMB director.

Furthermore, importation consigned to Chronic Plastics Inc. were released despite the questionable importation clearances. 

The assigned BoC examiner and appraiser re-routed goods declaration from being tagged as “yellow” to “green” and allowed to proceed to the next process despite its clear violation on DENR. In addition, goods declaration tagged as “red” were also re-routed to “green” despite the same violations.

The above-named EMB personnel, charged in the processing and evaluation of the importer’s registration and importation clearance should have required the Chronic Plastics Inc. to provide more information and documents to support its application for importation. 

Meanwhile, the above-named BOC personnel assigned at Formal Entry Division of Manila International Container Port as examiner and appraiser should have noticed during the conduct of document examination the questionable importation clearance filed by Chronic Plastics Inc, said the investigators. 

Topics: National Bureau of Investigation , Department of Justice , Menardo Guevarra , Dante Gierran
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