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Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Customs: No Violation in Opening Japan's Diplomatic Package, Erring Examiner Given Warning

GMANews reports that officials of the Bureau of Customs at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport has apologized for seizing and examining diplomatic cargo meant for the arrival of the emperor of Japan and his delegates.

The apology was made after a complaint by the Japanese Embassy posted a complaint over the seizure and opening of cargo last November that included wine that would be used for the visit of Emperor Akihito, Empress Michiko, and their delegation. 

Customs said that it was a simple misunderstanding, noting that the cargo had been released by December 2. The Customs examiner involved, Pompeo Manalo, has been given a warning. 
Watch the story in this video report.

Report via ABSCBN News said that the Bureau of Customs (BOC) denied on Tuesday reports that a Customs examiner violated procedure when he inspected a diplomatic shipment intended for the Japanese Embassy ahead of the Jan. 26-30 visit of Japanese Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko to the Philippines.
In a statement, Belle Maestro, acting head of the BOC Public Information Assistance Division, said Customs men did not violate procedure since the item inspected was not a diplomatic pouch.
"There wasn't any violation as the subject in question wasn't a diplomatic pouch, it was a diplomatic shipment which can be inspected through usual protocol of coordination as normally practiced in the South Harbor," Maestro said.
"NAIA Customs sought clearance from the Japanese embassy but nevertheless issued an apology."