THE Bureau of Customs Employees Association (BoCEA) has warned Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon from pushing thru with his announcement last Thursday that 10 employees would be slapped with “preventive suspension” for the questionable release of 469 units of fire trucks consigned to the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP).
Last week, at a press conference at his office, Faeldon declined to name the employees but bared he has already “called” on the Department of Justice (DOJ) to look into the alleged “anomalous transaction” by the BFP for “gross undervaluation” allegedly involving the employees.
In a talk with this reporter, however, Rommie Pagulayan, BoCEA president, averred their “review” of Faeldon’s ground to suspend the employees “has no solid basis.”
“We reviewed the matter and consulted with other BoC officials knowledgeable on the rules on assessment and as far as we are concerned, our members did not commit any material error to merit their suspension as announced by Comm. Faeldon,” Pagulayan said.
Despite announcing the preventive suspension that was supposed to take effect immediately, Pagulayan said it is yet to be implemented.
He warned, however, that the union is ready to also file a complaint against the customs chief before Department of Finance (DOF) Secretary Carlos Dominguez should the latter insist on pushing with the employees’ relief.
“Definitely, we will file our own protest and complaint; the membership would also decide if we are going to stage a mass action,” Pagulayan said.
He also noted that despite the absence of any investigation pointing to the culpability of the employees, Faeldon not only “violated” the employees right to due process but already “prejudged” them.
Pagulayan was referring to Faeldon’s statement last week where he said that importers and brokers cannot be expected to make honest declarations in their (customs) entries “if they know that customs officials and employees can be ‘swayed’ to connive in unscrupulous acts.”
Last Wednesday, a day before the press conference, unimpeachable sources bared that Faeldon and Pagulayan engaged in a “shouting match” during their meeting over the continued delay in the implementation of the bureau’s ‘Collective Negotiated Agreement’ (CNA).