BOC apologizes to farmers for releasing several shipments of rice as ordered by local courts

January 17, 2014 11:57 pm 

MANILA, Jan. 17 — Bureau of Customs (BOC) Commissioner John Philip Sevilla has apologized to the farmers in some parts of the country for releasing several shipments of rice, saying they are only following court orders.

Sevilla was referring to the preliminary injunction issued by Regional Trial Courts in Davao City, Manila and Batangas, preventing them to hold the release of several shipments of rice.

He said that the bureau respects the rule of law and will respect and comply with the court’s injunction orders, adding that they reserve their right to pursue any legal remedy available to question the legality of these injunction orders.

“The uncontrolled entry of rice into the Philippines will have a devastating effect on our farmers. We will continue to vigorously challenge these court orders in the proper courts. In that endeavor, we hope to have the support of farmers, the general public, and the rest of the government,” the BOC chief said.

Sevilla explained that Davao City RTC Branch 16 under Judge Emmanuel C. Carpio has ordered them not to hold the shipments consisting of 167 containers loaded with rice and are the subject of nine specific bills of lading.

The BOC noted that a certain Joseph Mangupag Ngo is not a registered importer with the Bureau of Customs, and is not a consignee under the import entries for the rice shipments.

The 167 containers are part of nearly 2,000 containers which have been held by the bureau for lack of import permits since September 2013.

Manila RTC Branch 54 under Judge Maria Paz R. Reyes-Yson also prevents the bureau from implementing any alerts, seizures, or hold orders, whether current or future, against rice shipments of Starcraft International Trading Corporation.

On the other hand, the BOC was prevented by Region IV, Branch 5 Regional Trial Court in Lemery, Batangas under Executive Judge Eutiquio L. Quitain from implementing any alerts, seizures, or hold orders in the future against rice shipments of Bold Bidder Marketing and General Merchandise. (PNA)



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