MANILA, Philippines — Customs lawyer Mandy Anderson told Senate probers Thursday that at least two of the five groups of alleged bribe-givers at the Bureau of Customs had sent the office former commissioner Nicanor Faeldon requests to lift hold and alert orders on certain shipments, including 60 containers belonging to a “Davao group.”
However, Anderson said she did not know the name of the BOC employee who went to her office a few months after her boss Faeldon assumed office and drew her attention to 60 containers that had been placed in an alert order by the then Customs chief.
“He asked me if I could help him, and he showed me a text message from a certain ‘Mans’,” Anderson replied to a question from Senator Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV at the resumption of the Blue Ribbon committee hearings on corruption at the BOC and the smuggling of P6.4 billion that breezed through the bureau’s Green Lane.
Anderson said she did not know who the “Mans” referred to was, and for emphasis and clarity, Senator Aquino confirmed with her that at no point did the unnamed BOC employee mention the name of Davao-based lawyer Manases Carpio, whose nickname is “Mans.”
Carpio appeared at the hearing on Thursday with his brother-in-law, Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte.
Anderson recalled that, when told a certain “Mans” wanted the alert lifted on the Davao group shipment, she told the BOC employee interceding for it, “I told him I don’t care and told him to leave my office.”
The man, Anderson told senators, just said, “containers ito ng Davao Group.”
Anderson was asked what eventually became of the 60 containers, and she said the last word she got was that the district collector concerned had issued a “WSD” (warrant of seizure and distraint) on the shipments.
Newly named Customs Commissioner Isidro Lapeña was asked by Senator Aquino to trace the fate of those 60 containers and determine for sure if “those shipments entered the country or not.”
Encounter with ‘Kimberly Gamboa Group’
Of the five groups named by Senator Panfilo Lacson in an earlier privilege speech as the known bribe givers or sources of “tara” at Customs, Anderson said she had a brush with at least two: the unnamed BOC employee who claimed to intercede for the Davao group, and Kimberly of the “Kimberly Gamboa group.”
Anderson recalled, “Kimberly was asking for a meeting with the commissioner regarding her shipment of plywood (she later corrected herself and said she was not sure if it was plywood) that was put on hold by the former OIC deputy commissioner on Enforcement Group, Depcom Arnel Alcaraz.”
At that time, Kimberly was trying to meet with the commissioner “to try to explain that her shipment was not alertable, and her shipment was put on hold without an alert order.”
Lapeña was later asked for the book showing employees’ faces, and Anderson was instructed by Blue Ribbon chairman Richard Gordon to later identify the BOC employee who approached her.