Customs official in postal pilferage sacked

Posted at 09/07/11 9:34 PM

MANILA, Philippines – A Customs examiner was relieved from his post after he and a Philippine Postal Corporation (Philpost) personnel were caught on camera pilfering money from a parcel at the government's Central Mail Exchange Center (CMEC) in Pasay City.

In a text message to ABS-CBN News, Postmaster General Josie dela Cruz said Customs Commissioner Angelito Alvarez supported the case against Customs Examiner Omar Said and Postman 1 Lovelyn de Leon.

“Got a call from [Commissioner] Alvarez. He's relieving the inspector. He supports us,” said dela Cruz.

Dela Cruz said the incident is merely an example of anomalies at the CMEC.

“’Yung nakita kasi ninyo is one incident. It’s a prototype ng mga nangyayari sa CMEC several times over araw araw,” she said.

Dela Cruz also expressed dismay over the failure of the inspectorate office of Philpost to arrest the 2 individuals while they were committing the pilferage.

De Leon will undergo a formal investigation because of the issue.

He has already been suspended but may face more serious punishments if found guilty.

“Administrative, tungkol sa trabaho ‘yan. Pinakamataas na [parusa], tanggal sa trabaho, tanggal lahat ng benefits,” said Atty. Lee Viceral, director legal service of Philpost.

Meanwhile, the owner of the parcel was notified by Philpost. The owner will serve as the complainant in the case.

Authorities said officials and personnel of the post office may be reshuffled because of the incident.

The incident was captured by a closed circuit television (CCTV) camera, which showed de Leon and Said opening a package and retrieving a white envelope from the back of a cellphone.

De Leon later admitted that she took foreign currency from the parcel.

Authorities said the actions of the 2 are in clear violation of regulations of the Bureau of Customs (BoC) and Philpost.

Both the BoC and Philpost strictly prohibit the opening of parcels unless in the presence of the addressee or owner of the package. -- Report from Anthony Taberna, ABS-CBN News