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AFP 'takeover' or customs does not violate civilian rule

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra says the current Bureau of Customs head, former military chief Rey Guerrero, is now a civilian…

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra says the current Bureau of Customs head, former military chief Rey Guerrero, is now a civilian

Published 1

2:39 PM, October 29, 2018

Updated 1:04 PM, October 29, 2018

 CIVILIAN RULE? Secretary Menardo Guevarra says the retired general who heads Customs is now a 'civilian.' File photo by Angie de Silva / Rappler "title =" CIVILIAN RULE? Secretary Menardo Guevarra says the retired general who heads Customs is now a 'civilian.' File image by Angie de Silva / Rappler "data-parentid =" "/> <p class= CIVILIAN RULE? Secretary Menardo Guevarra says the retired general who heads Customs is now a civilian. File photo by Angie de Silva / Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte’s directive to let the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) take over the Bureau of Customs (BOC) does not violate civilian supremacy rule because its chief is a Civilian, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said.

“Certainly not, because the BOC chief is a civilian; the BOC is under the Department of Finance (DOF); and the DOF is under the President,” Guevarra said on Monday, October 29.

Guevarra assured the public that civilian rule remains supreme as the newly appointed customs chief is “now a civilian,” referring to retired General Rey Guerrero, former Armed Forces chief of staff.

This comes after groups cited Section 3 Article II of the 1987 Philippine Constitution that states “Civilian authority is, at all times, supreme over the military.

Guerrero replaced former customs chief Isidro Lapeña who was tran sferred to the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA). It is the latest in a series of Duterte’s appointment of former military but to government posts.

It is also Duterte’s 3rd revamp in less than a year in the graft-ridden agency. The temporary military takeover, announced by Duterte on Sunday, September 29, was meant to “ensure that massive entry of illegal drugs, which threatens public safety, is immediately stopped, “he said.

The Duter Administration has been in a quandary about how to deal with the P11 billion shabu shipment scandal which has been the subject of congressional hearings.

Lapeña on October 25 conceded that empty magnetic lifters found in Cavite contained illegal drugs – after previously denying and contesting the claim of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA). But Duterte has defended Lapeña and former commissioner Nicanor Faeldon, saying that the two were only tricked by insiders. At the Bureau of Customs: How Isidro Lapeña was Outplayed (READ: Dipped defends Lapeña: Nalusutan long talaga ) – Rappler.com

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