BOC suspends Mighty Corp’s import accreditation
The Bureau of Customs (BOC) on Wednesday said that it has ordered the preventive suspension of the cigarette manufacturer Mighty Corporation’s (MC) customs accreditation for allegedly violating bureau’s warehousing rules.
Previously, a preventive suspension order had been issued against the company by then Commissioner John Sevilla in 2014 for infraction of customs bonded warehouse privileges, said Legal Service Director and Bureau’s Action Team Against Smugglers (BATAS) Executive Director Alvin Ebreo.
There was also an undervaluation of the importation of the cigarette-manufacturing materials amounting to P163,117,995, the Fiscal Intelligence Unit of the Department of Finance reported.
“In order to withdraw raw materials for local consumption, its correct value must be determined first for the payment of correct duties and taxes,” the BOC noted.
The bureau also cited recent raids of warehouses in Zamboanga, General Santos, and San Simon town in Pampanga that yielded P2 billion worth of counterfeit cigarettes, as among bases of the suspension, apart from MC’s previous violations.
Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon said the preventive suspension order of MC’s customs accreditation is also in the light of the Bureau’s mandate to “prevent smuggling and other cases of customs fraud detrimental to the government interest.”
According to Ebreo, the initiative will also provide the government an unhampered venue for investigation, and free it from any collateral issues and concern.
“The suspension is a purely administrative matter and within the BOC’s power and jurisdiction,” he added.
The cigarette manufacturer recently filed a petition with the Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 1 to prevent BOC from staging raids, claiming that the raids “were not found in the scope of their mission orders.”
With this, the BOC on Monday filed an administrative case against a Manila court judge for stopping the bureau from its raids and inspection on the warehouses of the cigarette maker.
Faeldon accused Presiding Judge Tita Bughao Alisuag of Manila RTC Branch 1 of committing “gross and deplorable” conduct after she issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) prohibiting BoC personnel from swooping down on the storage facilities of the Bulacan-based cigarette manufacturer.
He also stressed that Alisuag blatantly disregarded the long-established rule that regular courts do not have jurisdiction over seizure and forfeiture proceedings. JE
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