MANILA-- The Chamber of Customs Brokers Inc., (CCBI) clarified that Mark Ruben Taguba, one of the witnesses in the House hearing on the PHP6.4 billion shabu shipment from China, is not a Customs broker.
"For the information and guidance of the public, Mr. Taguba, is not a customs broker and not a member of the customs broker profession," CCBI national president Ferdinand Nague said in a statement issued on Thursday.
With this, the organization appealed to the members of the House of Representatives and the media not to address Taguba as customs broker.
"Accordingly, we request the members of Congress and media practitioners not to continuously address him customs broker," he noted.
The CCBI head also cited Sec. 28 of RA 9280 otherwise known as the Customs Brokers Act of 2004 which provides for the prohibition against the unauthorized practice of customs broker profession.
The law states, "no person shall practice or offer to practice the customs broker profession or other himself as custom broker, or use the title, word, letter, figure or any sign tending to convey the impression that one is a customs broker, or advertise or indicate in any manner whatsoever that one is qualified to practice the customs broker profession unless he has satisfactory passed the customs bringer licensure examination by the Professional Board for Customs Brokers (PRBCB) and given a license to practice by the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC)."
Nague explained that the statement was issued as "they noted that public perception toward the customs broker profession has been dramatically affected by the on-going inquiry on the PHP6.4 billion worth of smuggled drugs, as legislative witness Mark Ruben Taguba has allowed anyone to believe that he is a legitimate customs broker."
At the same time, the CCBI head warned that they are ready to file charges against those who are illegally using "customs broker" title to the detriment of professionals.
"CCBI will not hesitate to initiate forthwith appropriate legal action/s against anyone to protect its legitimate members against any unauthorized use of the title "customs broker" at the expense of the customs broker profession," Nague added.
The group has about 9,000 members throughout the country.
Source: Philippines News Agency