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Letters from Davao: Washing dirty linen By Jun Ledesma

THIS CONTROVERSY OVER a load of shabu allegedly slipped through the Bureau of Customs in Cavite via a magnetic lifter is getting to be curiouser and curiouser. That surprises me however is the seemingly childish whining of PDEA Director Gen. Aaron Aquino blaming Customs Commissioner Sid Lapena for the lapses and other insinuations.

And I thought that duties and responsibilities had been delineated before Lapena and Aquino assumed their respective posts. The marching order of DoF Sec. Sonny Dominguez to Lapena was to increase revenue collection target and he delivered. When he was PDEA head, he dismantled nearly all of the shabu laboratories in the country and intercepted a number of shabu shipments that enter Philippines shores.

It is now the turn of Director Aquino and all we heard is passing the buck. And then comes Atty. Lourdes Mangaoang, Deputy Customs Collector at NAIA, joining the fray. She used to be head of the X-ray Division of BOC and for sure she knew that those magnetic lifters cannot escape her X-ray vision. If she had previous knowledge, how come she surfaced only now? What prompted Lapena to transfer her (she was not dismissed) to another division? What prompted her to go to Cavite to inspect the lifters by herself then reported to Lapena that the lifters had residues of shabu. Am curious.

A whistle blower had talked under investigation by Sen. Dick Gordon. He had pointed the masterminds and for as long as he is alive we will have the chance to go to the bottom of this mysterious P6.8-billion shabu shipment which seemed to be the only cheap commodity peddled in Manila today. Should not Aquino focus on this problem now and stop  blaming others and washing dirty linens in public? By the way things are going PDEA is helpless and hopeless in finding out where that huge volume of shabu went. (Jun Ledesma)


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