Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Philippine anti-smuggling czar receives death threats

(Xinhuanet) -- A retired Philippine army general who is now working as the chief of anti-smuggling task force in the former US navy base of Subic Bay said on Sunday that he is repeatedly receiving death threats.
General Jose Calimlim said he has been getting death threats since he assumed last month as the anti-smuggling czar at the Subic freeport in Zambales, northern Philippines, which he has described as haven of smuggling syndicates.
Calimlim would not speculate on who have been sending him deaththreats on his cellular phone but one of his associates suspects those who have been affected by the government's renewed fight against smuggling in Subic.
The Subic freeport was established after the United States pulled out its navy forces in 1993 in the wake of a violent and deadly volcano irruption overwhelming a large area nearby.
Calimlim said he frequently received texted death threats on his cellular phone, warning him to be careful on his operations while other text messages asked the former military intelligence chief if he is bullet-proof.
Despite the death threats, Calimlim said there will be no let up in the operation of his task force. Early this month, Calimlim vowed that there would be no sacred cows in the anti-smuggling drive.
Calimlim's task force, composed of elite units from the Armed Forces and from the Philippine National Police, was created by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in early November.
For the past three weeks, the task force has seized at least 15million pesos (2.67 million US dollars) worth of luxury goods in vehicles declared as second hand vehicles, refrigerators and television sets


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