MANILA, Philippines – True to his word, Milo Maestrecampo quit as director of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) Import Assessment Services (IAS) a day after a customs broker testified before the House of Representatives that he was among those who had allegedly received tara or grease money from importers.
“In order to fight for my honor and integrity and in the name of delicadeza, I hereby render my resignation and submit to investigations in order to clear my name,” said Maestrecampo in his August 8 latter addressed to President Rodrigo Duterte, which was coursed through BOC chief Nicanor Faeldon.
Maestrecampo, a former captain from the Philippine Army’s Scout Rangers, participated with Faeldon and other military officers in the 2003 Oakwood mutiny in Makati City against then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
He was sentenced in 2008 to prison terms of up to 40 years for the coup attempt but Arroyo granted him pardon along with eight other soldiers later the same year.
On Monday, August 7, during the continuation of the House Committee on Dangerous Drugs’ inquiry into the entry P6.4 billion worth of shabu via the BOC’s express lane, customs broker Mark Taguba identified Maestrecampo as among those regularly accepting payola from him.
The accusation angered Mestrecampo during the hearing. He vowed to resign and submit himself to investigation but said that while he might be a rebel, he was never a thief.
“When I go back to the BOC, I will step down, I will submit everything in any investigation – accounts, my house. Go ahead, your honors,” he told congressmen.
But later in the day, Taguba told the House panel that he was uncertain if the money went to the BOC officials or to their offices.
Maestrecampo said in his resignation letter that while Taguba “essentially cleared” his name, “it appears that there was a group of people he referred to as Davao Group under Tita Nanie using the name of IAS to collect money from him.”
Click and watch the video report below: