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Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero said he has not received any guidance from Malacañang nor the Department of Finance (DOF) regarding his alleged replacement as head of the Bureau of Customs (BOC).

A Manila Times news article published on January 10 said President Rodrigo Duterte, in a dinner in Malacañang on January 9, offered Guerrero’s post to Davao-based businessman William de Jesus Lima, who allegedly accepted the offer.

Citing a “highly reliable source”, the news article said reasons for the replacement included BOC’s failure to meet its collection target for 2019 and rampant corruption.

Guerrero, when asked about the article in a media event on January 10, said: “I am still waiting for the guidance of the President and the secretary of Finance.” BOC is an agency attached to DOF.

He noted that he attended a January 7 command conference at the Philippine National Police presided over by Duterte and “wala namang sinabi sa akin (he didn’t say anything).”

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, when asked by media, said in a text message: “I met with the President several times this week and he never even hinted at it.”

Guerrero said he would not comment further on the issue, but noted he serves at the pleasure of the President being a presidential appointee.

“…Anytime pwede akong tanggalin ng appointing authority (The appointing authority can get rid of me anytime),” he said.

Guerrero, who took over BOC in October last year, is the third customs commissioner installed in the agency since 2016.

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