Macarambon: “I maintain that asking for a re-computation is not corruption”  

(Statement of Assistant Secretary Moslemen T. Macarambon Sr. addressed to his “friends at the MRRD NECC, colleagues in the judiciary and the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission.” Macarambon has been asked by President Duterte, according to Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, to resign “or face termination for corruption.”)

This refers to the press conference yesterday (May 15, 2018) morning wherein Spokesperson Harry Roque echoed the statement of the President telling two (2) assistant secretaries to resign or be sacked.

Let me explain.

On December 20, 2017, I was asked by my “bala-es” (Abraham and Bangsaan Mimbalawag, uncle and aunt respectively of my daughter-in-law, Zorhaya Mimbalawag Dimalawang-Macarambon) to help them due to their interception at the NAIA for bringing into the country jewelry worth about PhP 7,000,000.00. Accordingly, they were required to pay taxes amounting to PhP 6,000,000.00 by the Bureau of Customs (BOC).

Believing that the amount is highly exorbitant (about 86% of the value), I proceeded to the BOC and requested for a re-computation of the taxes as well as the penalties to be imposed. As a result, the BOC came up with a figure of One million three hundred sixty-eight thousand and seventeen (PhP1,368,017.00) pesos. Whereupon the Mimbalawag couple paid the amount under Official Receipt No. 01888341115 (see attached). The reduction of the amount payable from 6M to PhP1,368,017.00 bolstered my earlier belief that indeed it would be unfair for the couple to pay the former amount. But be that as it may, I warned the couple that I would never intercede in their behalf again.

I maintain that asking for a re-computation is not corruption. In fact, the result would show the fairness of the government in collecting the correct taxes from its citizens.

In my case, the PACC did not observe due process. They immediately claimed that I have regularly been intervening on behalf of suspected smugglers without verifying the facts of the case. This is violative of Executive Order No. 43, creating the PACC.

Pertinent portion of Section 5 of E.O. No. 43, provides:

“The Commission shall use every and all reasonable means to ascertain the facts in each case or complaint speedily and objectively, in all instances observing due process.”

Thus, in this connection I would like to ask the good people of the PACC to take a little pain of verifying first the facts before making an announcement because once posted in the media the damage to the person is beyond repair. We in the government can be reached easily through telephones. If we ignore their calls or cannot give a credible explanation, then it is time to report to the President.

Sec. Roque said: In the case of Macarambon, “Investigation conducted by the PACC revealed that Asec. Macarambon has regularly been interveningon behalf of suspected smugglers of gold and other precious jewelry at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.”

I would like to state herein that the December 20, 2017 incident was an isolated case. It was the FIRST AND LAST TIMEI went to the Bureau of Customs. Thus, I am challenging the PACC to show proof that I have been regularly intervening in behalf of smugglers. The records/logbook and CCTV cameras at the BOC will show that the PACC’s allegation is a brutal lie. It seems that the PACC is too eager to please the President at the expense of some government officials.

With respect to the Resignation, I have already tendered my courtesy resignation to the President as early as April 25, 2018, in compliance with the Memorandum of the new Secretary of Justice, the Hon. Menardo Guevarra to give him a free hand to perform the mandate given to him by the President. Hence, my resignation is not because of my alleged intervention in behalf of gold smugglers but due to the above-stated Memorandum (see attached).

I hope I have made myself clear.