In other developments:
• Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said Wednesday the military takeover of the Bureau of Customs was not something that had been discussed beforehand between him and the President.
“It was just a decision of the President,” Lorenzana told reporters when asked if he had been privy to the order before it was announced by Duterte on Sunday night.
• Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said Wednesday the military takeover of the Bureau of Customs will solve age-old problems that were not resolved despite a series of reforms imposed to improve the agency’s performance.
“I believe the military will be there to help in the enforcement and adding better controls, lessening or eliminating corruption without affecting the smooth workflow and processing of documents,” Lopez said.
• Malacañang on Wednesday dismissed the calls for the resignation of Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III over the alleged corruption in its attached agencies.
Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said the Palace could not find any basis to support the calls for Dominguez’ resignation.
In a turnover ceremony, Guerrero said there would be no reshuffle of Customs personnel yet, and that all would remain in their posts as Customs would continue to hit its collection target for 10 consecutive weeks.
Duterte earlier said all Customs personnel would be temporarily replaced by military men while sorting out how to effectively meet the challenges of corruption in the country.
“As I’ve explained, what the President wants is the military personnel from the AFP to assist Customs and not to militarize it. The officers of the Bureau of Customs will still be in control of the operations and activities of the bureau,” Guerrero said.
He also said Customs personnel would still be responsible for the operations of the bureau.
Guerrero called on the cooperation of all Customs personnel to restore the public trust and confidence in the agency. With Othel V. Campos, and Nat Mariano READ: Military takes over CustomsREAD: Duterte admits militarizing government
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