Ombudsman orders probe into alleged corruption in Customs

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 24) — The Office of the Ombudsman has ordered an "in-depth" investigation into the purported corruption in the Bureau of Customs.

In a statement, the Ombudsman said criminal and administrative charges may be filed against Customs officials and employees if they are proven guilty of committing graft and corrupt practices.

This comes after President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday said he wants erring Customs officials and employees out of the bureau.

Duterte said 63 Customs employees and officials are currently facing criminal charges.

He said they would have to report to Congress every day to help in paperwork at his office, as authorities cannot “abolish” their positions due to their security of tenure.

The President had earlier said he would fire dozens of Customs officials for their supposed involvement in corruption. Malacañang last week said the administration has been preparing administrative cases against the said employees, but reiterated that they will be given due process.

READ: Duterte asks for Congress’ help to dismiss erring Customs officials

The Ombudmsan may order the preventive suspension of any Customs official and employee while conducting the investigation.

If proven guilty, they will be dismissed from service and perpetually disqualified from holding public office. They will also be barred from receiving retirement benefits, and from taking the civil service examination.