Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Clark Customs: Smuggled 'Spam' came from Subic

CLARK FREEPORT -- The district collector of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) at Clark Port has denied any involvement of his office in the reported smuggling of 12,025 cases of luncheon meat bound for Vietnam.

Lawyer Ronnie Silvestre said he was outraged by the reports that the Presidential Anti-Smuggling Group (PASG) had seized five container vans loaded with luncheon meat being diverted "from Clark Field in Pampanga to Poro Point."

"We do not tolerate smuggling here in Clark. Not even one can of Spam has entered Clark," said Silvestre.

Silvestre showed documents furnished to him by Bong Reyes, chief of the Customs Intelligence and Investigation Services (CIIS), which showed that the five container vans loaded with Spam -- not Hormel as previously reported by The Philippine Star -- came from the Subic Freeport.

In the Foreign Transshipment Declaration (FTD) with Control Number 59928 of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA), Subic was identified as the port of discharge while the final destination was Vietnam via Curimao Point in La Union.

The FTD also identified the consignee as Tom Trading Company, Ltd, a company based in Ho chi Minh, Vietnam. The shipping company, on the other hand, was identified as Value City Sales, Incorporated based at the Clark Freeport.

The luncheon meat arrived from San Pedro California, USA on January 18, 2008 at Subic Port and was set to leave Subic on April 18, 2008 bound for Vietnam, the FTD further indicated.

The same details were also reflected in the Daily Transshipment Permit Report of Port of Subic's District Collector Marietta Zamoranos dated April 16.

Silvestre said he was "completely unaware" of the alleged smuggling incident until he was informed by his staff of the newspaper report. He added that some of his colleagues have also called him to confirm the television and radio reports.

"But we want to set the records straight...and the documents will speak for themselves," he stressed.

"We're not pinning down on Subic but we just want to set the records straight," he said.

Silvestre also said assistant vice president for permits, licensing and monitoring Mariza Mandocdoc of the Clark Development Corporation (CDC) did not issue any import permit for the five container vans.

"According to Mandocdoc, the last shipment imported to Clark by Value City was in November 2007," Silvestre said, adding that "this shipment has already arrived (at Clark)." By Reynaldo G. Navales - SunStar

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