CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews/16 May) – Some local government officials in Mindanao are among the alleged clients listed in the “black book” of suspected car and bike smuggler Lynard Allan Bigcas, according to an inquiry today by the House ways and means committee aired live on ANC.
The supposed black book, which Bigcas claimed is a personal diary, lists the names of “Mayor Dimaporo,” “Mayor Ali,” “Governor Jalosjos” and “Colonel Pimentel” as among the people who bought motorcycle parts from him.
Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez asked Bigcas if his name was on the black book and the latter said it was not. This made a fellow lawmaker remark in jest that “Congressman Rodriguez is innocent at the moment”.
The black book was among the items seized in the raids last May 3 of Bigcas’ property in Talakag, Bukidnon and in Barangay Kauswagan here by local police and agents from the National Bureau of Investigation and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Seized together with the black book were 21 high-end cars and four bikes one of which was reportedly stolen from Hollywood scriptwriter Skip Woods.
Woods saw his Martin Brothers motorbike published at the suspect’s website –www.albigsmotorcycle.com – leading to the raids.
The raid also yielded a shotgun and assorted ammunition. But Bigcas denied earlier reports he sold firearms to officials in the Philippines.
Bayan Muna Partylist Rep. Teodoro Casiño, said in an interview here over the weekend that the Bigcas issue should serve as a “wake-up” call for the Aquino administration.
“Hindi na bago ‘yan (That’s nothing new). This should merit a stronger action from national government. Hindi na pwede magbulag-bulag lang ang gobyerno nito (The government can no longer turn a blind eye on this),” he said.
“At the very least, lahat na (all those) involved dapat i-suspend (should be suspended) while the investigation is going on. It is very improbable that Bigcas operated without an insider in government agencies,” the lawmaker added.
Casiño said the problem is the system in the customs and importation processes of the country.
“The midnight deals with Chiongco and now with Bigcas are very telling in the loopholes in our system. This is an urgent concern which should be addressed,” he said.
He added that the Aquino administration should treat the Bigcas issue seriously especially since it is supposedly cash-strapped.
Estimates placed revenue losses from smuggling at P110 billion to P127 billion every year.
In a press conference last week Bigcas’ lawyer Alejandro Jose Pallugna announced they have filed a special civil suit asking the court to order the NBI 10 to return all the items seized during the raids.
Bigcas claimed the book was his personal diary containing the names of racing buddies and motocross event schedules.
“I’d like to clear this thing about what came out in the news about a ‘black book.’ It’s my personal diary. I can’t understand why they (NBI) would want to take it,” Bigcas told reporters. (H. Marcos C. Mordeno with reports from Cong B. Corrales /MindaNews)