Customs officials who hired basketball players as “intelligence officers” can be charged

Customs officials who hired basketball players as “intelligence officers” can be charged

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Ex-PBA stars Marlo Aquino and Kenneth Duremdes, here shown suiting up with their Team Trabaho teammates, are in the center of a brewing controversy after it was revealed that they are receiving salaries from the BOC as 'intelligence officers.'

Congressmen investigating the Php 6.4 billion shabu smuggling case has also warned officials of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) that they could be held liable for various offenses, including technical malversation, falsification of public documents, and usurpation of public authority in connection with BOC’s hiring of 28 athletes as technical assistants purportedly assigned for intelligence work.

Rep. Vicente Veloso noted that the athletes were hired without the public bidding required under the law. He chided Faeldon for running the BOC as if it is his own private company.

Fariñas also warned Atty. Mandy Anderson, chief of staff of Faeldon, that she could be liable for falsification of public documents and usurpation of public authority.

Anderson admitted she was authorized by Faeldon to sign the daily time record of the athletes hired by the bureau.

However, former Phil. Basketball Association stars Kenneth Duremdez, Marlo Aquino and EJ Feihl said they do not actually report to the bureau. Neither were they trained for intelligence work, according to the athletes.

Fariñas noted that the DTR is a public document and if Anderson made it appear the athletes reported for work when they did not is tantamount to falsification of public documents.

The Majority Leader also said that since Anderson is not a government official, as indicated in her contract with the BOC, she is also likely liable for usurpation of public office, since she is performing the functions of a public servant.

“But you are a young lawyer, we will not go after you,” Farinas said.




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