Piñol orders quarantine officer in Davao relieved over extortion issues
Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol has asked acting Bureau of Plant Industry Acting Director Vivencio Mamaril to issue a relief order against a BPI Quarantine Officer based in Davao City’s Sasa port.
Piñol said he has received complaints from small exporters of Cavendish banana that the quarantine officer, Andres Alemania, and some of his people have been demanding fees for every container van that go through his turf.
“On Monday, July 18, I will issue another directive to Director Mamaril to relieve the whole BPI Quarantine Service Staff in Sasa Port down to the janitor and replace them with a fresh group of quarantine officers,” Piñol said.
According to reports received by the agriculture chief, erring BPI quarantine officials in Sasa port milk some P8,000 per container of P40,000 per transaction from exporters.
“There will be due process,” Piñol said. “This week, I will dispactch graft investigators belonging to a new unit I organized in the Department of Agriculture to proceed to the Sasa Port in Davao City to validate the charges.”
Over 200 Cavendish banana exporters will be interviewed by the investigators.
“Considering that there are over 200 exporters, not to mention the huge players like Dole Philippines, Sumifru, Tadeco, Uni-Frutti and others, I can just imagine how much these people, granting that the charges are true, have been raking in all these years,” Piñol said.
The DA will also conduct a lifestyle check on the concerned officials.
“President Duterte’s vow to rid government of corrupt officials is not just cheap talk. It will be done,” Piñol added.
His message to corrupt officials in the DA: “Learn, adapt, adjust or get fired.”