Phoenix says oil smuggling case closed; Not so, says BOC


Customs Commissioner Ruffy Biazon. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—Phoenix Petroleum Philippines Inc. defended itself from allegations of oil smuggling on Wednesday, saying that the Department of Justice has dismissed smuggling charges filed against the company under the Bureau of Customs’s Run After the Smugglers (RATS) campaign.

However, Customs Commissioner Ruffy Biazon considers the case still open as the BOC is asking the DOJ to reconsider its resolution that dismissed the complaint for insufficient evidence.

In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, Phoenix Petroleum said the DOJ declared in its resolution “that there was no unlawful importation and that (the company) has fully paid the duties, taxes and fees on the subject importation.”

In the resolution dated Nov. 16, 2012, the DOJ said that “the subject shipments passed through the customs house according to the standard procedure, where the specified entry form together with other documents required by law and regulations have been filed and accepted.”

In an interview by text message, Biazon said the “BOC filed an MR (motion for reconsideration)” to push the complaint against Phoenix Petroleum.

Biazon was on his way to Panama, on Wednesday, to attend an international convention of customs agencies and also to engage in bilateral talks with some of his counterparts.

In a separate interview, BOC director for legal services Simplicio N. Domingo II explained the pending status of the case.

“Based on experience from the filing of MRs, it does take a long time (for the DOJ to act on such motions),” Domingo said.

According to the BOC’s RATS Group, the complaint against Phoenix Petroleum is built “on the strength of an initial discovery of nine import entries that did not match the volume and value of the load port survey provided by the international surveyor” (under contract with the BOC).

The RATS Group alleged that, based on “subsequent verifications,” Phoenix imported various petroleum products with a combined dutiable value of P5.1 billion but “tainted by…anomalies.”

That RATS Group said such anomalies included having shipments cleared through Customs without any supporting import entry declarations or non-submission of required importation documents such as invoices and bills of lading.

However, the DOJ said the BOC failed to prove its allegations and so it dismissed the complaint.

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  • Pedro_Gil

    Biazon is totally responsible. Why do you take a job when you know for a fact that you dont know how and incompetent to do it.? unless you have another purpose. Kung ang isang kawani ay isang inutil sa kanyang gawain, ito ay dapat irelieve sa kanyang trabaho ng nag appoint sa malakanyang at pero kung di niya kayang gawin ito, magpanukala na ng batas at ang taong bayan ang gagawa ng direktang solusyon. tama na ang magkukuyakoy ang dumada kelangan na ng aksyon! kung walng mangyayari diyan, lahat na tayo ay mga inutil!!!

  • Josemakabayan

    There it goes kabayans, the reason why sec. Kim Henares of BIR wants to go after the retailers. She can’t go after the big fish because it got a decision from the justice department dismissing the case of smuggling by the BIg Fish. So if the importations are legal, what is there to go after for???? Mukhang nagkabukulan ahhhhhh!!!!!!!

  • Chris

    still BOC is incompetent

  • Roland_F

    This system can NEVER be changed. Wake up Pinoys !
    The R of P is owned by 60-70 family clans (depends how you count) — who have set up a democratic facade run from 120+ political dynasties plus show biz and sport personalities.
    So we get the “best congress and senate money can buy” as ‘lawmakers’ … and law they make : to protect themselves and the tycoons from the masa.

    So in a system of endemic corruption, BoC, BIR, PNP, AFP …. have lousy paid staff which try to fill their own pockets on every possible occasion. So in this case here 30,000 truckloads of gasoline can leave the PEZA without BoC “noticing” it, or checking if the 10-wheeler truck have really only 100l diesel on board or 15000l unleaded. Why ? Because they are busy counting the cash stacked envelope during the trucks are leaving the gate.

  • carlcid

    Oil players like Phoenix and Jetty have been smuggling petroleum for the past 5 years. That’s their bread and butter, so to speak. And they have lots of government officials in their pockets, so it’s become a standard practice.

  • Diosdado Casera

    Biazon is incompetent. Pinoy should consider replacing him with someone who is morally and intellectually competent. Someone who is proactive.

  • superpilipinas

    “Based on experience from the filing of MRs, it does take a long time (for the DOJ to act on such motions),” Domingo said.

    Kalokohan! If recovery of the money amounts to millions or billions of pesos, Biazon could have gone to De Lima directly and ask for top priority…… Unless of course Biazon has different motives, whatever it is, or just plain incompetence.

    “BoC failed to prove its allegations”…..means BoC is undeniably incompetent!

    So why should we even vote for Team PNoy if incompetence and perhaps, corruption, is a fact in tne current administration!


    DO NOT VOTE FOR Team PNoy, UNA, LP, NP, NPC, Lakas, Kampi, etc.

    • Tyril

      don’t make conclusions based on a few facts and don’t be shallow minded. There are many sides of the story. Fuel smuggling is as difficult to deal with as the Drug Cartels in South America. This is a system where many powerful people are involved. This is not a simple matter of conscience anymore, it is an evil system that benefit the oil companies that smuggle.

    • Yxon

      super, hindi yan incompetence, kulang lang sa pansin (bayad)

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