MANILA, Philippines – A Bureau of Customs (BOC) official has claimed that their x-ray machines did detect illegal drugs inside magnetic lifters recovered in Cavite in August.
Former Customs X-ray Inspection Project (XIP) chief Lourdes Mangaoang showed Thursday images of the magnetic lifters the BOC examined last July 14.
Mangaoang, who is now assigned as Customs collector for passengers services at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, explained that a difference in color would mean something else is inside the magnetic lifters.
“Dogs don’t lie, x-ray machines do not lie, only people can lie. I am very sure it was deliberate, dahil iyan ang modus operandi, para hindi makita ng examiner na may laman yung container na hindi naka-deklara, pinapadilim nila, sinasadya nila idilim yung image,” Mangaoang told ABS-CBN News.
The former XIP chief also dismissed claims that the current x-ray machines weren’t functioning well, and therefore cannot penetrate such magnetic lifters.
“The x-ray can penetrate 11 inches of steel, therefore kaya niyang i-penetrate ito. What the Bureau of Customs officials is doing, they are covering up for the crime,” Mangaoang said.
The PDEA found P2.4 billion worth of shabu inside magnetic lifters at the Manila International Container Terminal (MICT) on August 7.
A day later, four more magnetic lifters were found in General Mariano Alvarez town in Cavite that were allegedly empty. The PDEA said agents were on the hunt for at least 5 more containers with a ton of shabu worth at least P6.8 billion.
The BOC still stands by its claim that all the magnetic lifters found in in Cavite were empty.
“That person who examined it stands by that statement na wala siyang laman. May credibility ba yung tao to say that? Yes, dahil nagtraining naman yun,” BOC spokesperson Atty. Dino Austria said.
“Wala naman nagpabaya dito sa particular na transaction na to. For drugs? Absolutely not. To be fair with the BOC personnel, maraming problema, inaayos namin ito. Pero yung sasabihin natin na nagbubulagbulagan at kasabwat ang international drug syndicates, ibang usapan na yun.”
However, Mangaoang stated that under the Duterte administration is the most corrupt time of the BOC on her 30 year stint in the service.
“In my 30 years of service in the BOC, pinakamalala sa kurapsyon ang administrasyong ito”, said by Atty, Mangaoang.
DUTERTE DENIES MAGNETIC LIFTERS OF CONTAINING SHABU, A MERE “SPECULATION”
It is mere “speculation” that P6.8 billion worth of shabu has been released in the streets, President Duterte said on August 15 following reports that such shipment slipped past the Bureau of Customs (BOC).
Agents of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) last August seized four magnetic lifters believed to have contained about a ton of shabu at a warehouse in General Mariano Alvarez, Cavite.
Drug-sniffing dogs detected traces of narcotics in the empty magnetic lifters.
But the President said this was “pure speculation.”
“There was nothing there. They presumed it was filled with shabu and made assumption on the prices,” Duterte said at the launch of Pilipinas Angat Lahat Alliance at Malacañang. “You do not go into speculative content. You must be very sure that you have the goods.”