Customs Commissioner Isidro Lapena commended yesterday the customs personnel who apprehended their colleague for allegedly conniving with arriving jewelry smugglers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) recently.

Lapeña recognized the customs authorities who were on duty during the attempt of two suspects to smuggle R3-million jewelries into the country.

“It was a very courageous act of the customs officer to go after that customs officer na naging part ng sindikato,” the commissioner said during a press briefing.

In fact, it was the second time that the commissioner commended the arresting officers in public.

“’Yung ginawa ng ating mga NAIA personnel na mag-apprehend ng sarili nilang kasamahan is something that is very, I would say that, extraordinary,” Lapeña said as he spoke before customs employees at the bureau’s flag raising ceremony Monday.

Although the commissioner did not name the particular persons responsible for the foiled smuggling, he commended the whole district as well.

“It is highly commendable and NAIA deserved that commendation as a unit, and as individuals,” Lapeña added.
The incident, the customs chief, further said “shows the resolve of customs officers against such unscrupulous customs personnel.”

“That I want to emphasize that many customs officers wanted to reform the Bureau of Customs. At ito ay hindi nabigyan ng diin na ang nakahuli ay customs officer. It is an accomplishment of the customs and the NAIA people deserves to be recognized,” Lapeña said.

Last May 5, NAIA Customs Operations Officer V Lomontod Macabando assigned at the arrival area of NAIA Terminal 3 was arrested for allegedly conniving with suspects Abraham Mimbalawag, and Bang-sa Mimbalawag, who arrived at Terminal 3, Port of NAIA on board Cebu Pacific Air Flight No. 5J015 from Dubai. (Betheena Kae Unite)