A WARRANT of arrest for estafa issued by the Quezon City Regional Trial Court remains unserved against a certain ‘Ariel Victorino,’ who has been repeatedly floated as the ‘new’ commissioner of the Bureau of Customs, replacing customs chief, Nicanor Faeldon.
Former Philippine Marines spokesperson and retired colonel, Neil Estrella, now the BOC’s customs intelligence service (CIIS) director, said the warrant, issued by Judge Wilfredo L. Maynigo of Branch 215 of the Quezon City RTC on August 7, 2013, remains “valid” after Victorino failed to show up in court and posts bail in the amount of P34,000.
“The existence of this warrant validates our earlier position that Mr. Victorino has been the subject of numerous complaints in the past; we are encouraging those who have likewise been victimized by this person to step forward and file their own complaint,” Estrella added.
Last month, the BOC issued a statement warning the public to be wary of Victorino, who had claimed to have produced an ‘appointment paper’ as customs commissioner signed by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea.
The bureau issued the warning amidst reports that Victorino’s group has been allegedly “extorting” money from waterfront stakeholders ahead of his purported assumption to the top customs post.
However, presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella during his press briefing last week again denied that Faeldon is on his way out as customs commissioner when asked by the media on the issue.
Estrella added they have already coordinated with law enforcement agencies, such as the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) in order to serve the warrant against Victorino who, according to the document, is a resident of Sta. Mesa, Manila