Brokers and processors inside the Subic Bay Freeport Zone lauded the quick action by Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Chairman and Administrator Jonathan D. Tan against alleged extortion activities in Subic port.
In a meeting with port users at the SBMA on Friday, Tan immediately ordered the investigation on allegations of extortion against Seaport Department Manager Jerome Martinez and Consultant Rico Reyes, after various brokers disclosed that they were also victims of alleged extortion activities here. Tan assured the brokers he will conduct a thorough investigation on the matter and come up with a swift decision concerning the two officials. He added that he does not tolerate illicit activities such as extortion, declaring that the agency will weed out unscrupulous officials and consultants. Zambales District 1 Representative Jay Khonghun backed the decision of Tan, and strongly encouraged other port users to come forward and share their experiences to be able to resolve issues that have been building up regarding the said allegations.
“These brokers complained that they were being extorted for money. This is unfortunate since they only want to work and earn their money for their families,” he said. Meanwhile , on the P3.6-billion drugs that were released from Subic port and intercepted in Pampanga, Chairman Tan said that it was a “controlled delivery “ by the SBMA, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), and the Bureau of Customs (BOC) Port of Subic. He added that the controlled release is an inter-agency operation that is conducted to be able to determine the consignee and apprehend them for the illegal shipment.
“We are working with various agencies regarding the controlled delivery of the said drugs. The SBMA relinquished the authority on the drugs shipment and turned them over to the proper authorities that handle the cases such as this,” Tan added.