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Steel firm seeks Palace probe of Customs team’s illegal raids

December 5, 2011 Leave a comment

A steel company has called on President Aquino to look into alleged abuses of Customs personnel who, without authority, tried to raid its warehouse in Bulacan last week.

Sanyo Seiki Stainless Steel Corporation’s complaints followed the exchange of charges and counter-charges between it and Customs personnnel in a dispute that broke out last January.

“We have to be brave to come out now. We want to run our business peacefully. We have been in business for 16 years and it is our first time to experience this,” said Jenny Chan, vice president for finance of Sanyo Seiki Stainless Steel Corp.

Chan told reporters that a group of Customs employees tried to barge into the firm’s warehouse in Meycauayan, Bulacan armed with a “defective” mission order that had the wrong name and address.

The mission order dated June 30 also violated Customs Memorandum Order 52-93 for having no contact person and number from Customs Bonded Warehouse Unit, chan said. The “raiding team” was not accompanied by a representative of the Philippine Exporters Confederation, another violation of the rules, according to Chan.

The Customs personnel were denied entry to the warehouse after Sanyo Seiki’s legal group found their mission order defective.

Sanyo Seiki filed on June 29 graft charges, direct bribery, grave coercion, grave threats, betrayal of public trust and usurpation of authority against three Customs officials and four private individuals before the Ombudsman.

Charged were Customs Bonded Warehouse Unit chief and Collection Officer Lucila Medina; Deputy Commissioner and Run After The Smugglers Unit head Gregorio Chavez; his chief of staff, Jet Maronilla; spouses Godofredo and Anabelle Mozo, both Customs brokers; Leo Peter Paul Gonzales, a former chief operating officer of the steel firm; and a certain Marilyn Jong.

In its complaint, the firm said that Medina, Chavez and Maronilla conspired with private respondents to extort P15 million in order for them to refrain from disrupting the operations of Sanyo Seiki, release the illegally seized goods, and stop the undue publicity against the steel firm.

News from Manila Standard Today.

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Steel firm sues 2 Customs officials for bribery

December 5, 2011 Leave a comment

THE president of Binondo-based Sanyo Seiki Steel Corp on Wednesday asked the Ombudsman to file direct bribery and graft charges against two officials of the Bureau of Customs and four private individuals.

Gregory Uy Chan, aka Greg Chan, of Sanyo Seiki Steel Corporation accused Customs Collection Officer Lucila P. Medina, chief of the Customs Bonded Warehouse Unit; Deputy Commissioner Gregorio Chavez, head of the Run-After-The-Smugglers and his chief of staff Jet Maronilla, of conspiring with private respondents Godofredo Mozo, Anabel Mozo and Marlene Jong, all Customs brokers.

Jong represented herself as the wife of Chavez , the complaint said.

Another accused is Leo Peter Paul Gonzales, former chief operating officer of Sanyo Seiki Steel.

Chan’s complaint said that Medina, Chavez and Maronilla conspired with private respondents to extort P15 million from him in order for them to refrain from disrupting the operations of Sanyo Seiki, release the illegally seized goods, and stop the undue publicity against the steel firm.

Not content with the P15 million they had extorted from him, Chan said the respondents also demanded P40 million in return for the withdrawal of the charges they filed against him before the Department of Justice.

Because of the concerted acts of the respondents, Chan said that banks refuse to transact with Sanyo Seiki.

While the case is being investigated, Chan said the accused Customs officials should be suspended to preclude them from committing further irregularities and to prevent them from using their powers to tamper with the records that may be pertinent to the case.

He said their problem started in November 2010 when private respondents started extorting money from him, allegedly in connivance with the accused Customs officials.

Chan said he was approached by the Mozo couple and warned him that the BOC would soon be creating problems for the steel firm.

Chan said he was also told by the Mozos not to panic as they could make his problem go away. “All I had to do was give them fifteen million pesos (P15,000,000.00). When I asked them what the said money was for, they told me that they will be giving this money to pay off certain BOC officials—including Commissioner Angelito Alvarez and Deputy Commissioner Gregorio Chavez at Quezon City—so that they will no longer make any problems for Sanyo Seiki,” Chan said.

News from Manila Standard Today.