Friday, October 26, 2018

Philippines' President Sacks All Top Customs Officials After They Failed To Intercept More Than A Ton Of Drugs

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte fired the head of the Bureau of Customs yesterday and ordered all top bureau officials replaced after the agency failed to intercept more than a ton of drugs, the second such case in two years.

Duterte has made a bloody fight against drugs the centerpiece of his administration since he won a presidential election in 2016. Thousands of people have been killed in the crackdown.

Duterte said Customs Commissioner Isidro Lapena was being removed from his post and all his deputies and top officials would be transferred.

“The commissioners are out, the department heads are out,” Duterte said during a speech at a ceremony commemorating the founding of the coastguard.

He said he was appointing retired army general to take over the bureau and soldiers and members of the coastguard would help him.

Duterte said Lapena would be reassigned to a government training agency.

Lapena, who was at the ceremony, expressed surprise by his transfer and commented briefly to reporters to express his thanks to Duterte for his new posting.