Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Subic manager denies smuggling activities in ecozone

Administrator Armand Arreza of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) said there is no smuggling at the Subic Freeport.

Arreza was reacting to a statement by Senator Sergio Osmeña III that smugglers are lurking in Subic, Clark and the Batangas port, and not in an obscure retail mall in Divisoria called 168.

Osmeña has said that the raid on the 168 Mall was a "zarzuela (a farce)" and an attack on legitimate retailers who unknowingly purchased goods from smugglers. He said authorities could stop smuggling by apprehending container vans at the Subic, Clark Freeport zones and at the port of Batangas.

He added that until now the government has yet to arrest or charge a big-time smuggler.

Arreza, in a roundtable discussion with President Arroyo and other officials of the Subic and Clark Freeports, said Osmeña's statement is part of an "old perception" because the SBMA and Customs authorities make sure that there is no smuggling in the area. (JMR) Sun Star


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