Customs chief warns vs unscrupulous solicitation

Customs Commissioner Isidro Lapeña on Thursday warned the public against unscrupulous persons who are soliciting money using his name for charity projects through a certain Atty. Vasquez.

Lapeña clarified that he does not allow any members of his staff to ask for cash donations.

The bureau received reports from concerned Customs brokers that a certain Atty. Vasquez, claiming to be the chief of staff of Lapeña, called and sent them messages, asking brokers and importers to give money or donations for supposed charity purposes or fundraising efforts allegedly initiated by the Customs chief.

Lapeña said there is no Atty. Vasquez connected to his office, and the alleged charity project is a complete fraud, adding that he does not and will not ask financial favors from anyone.

“I never authorized or ordered anyone from my office to solicit money on my behalf. I am also not involved in any fundraising activity as reportedly claimed by Vasquez,” said Lapeña.

Vasquez was supposedly selling raffle tickets worth P15,000 as a church donation, and soliciting money for a BoC charity project in Zambales, even mentioning the name of Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle as project partner. Vito Barcelo

“Vasquez sends text and calls using the mobile numbers 09568700861 and 09562181895. Would-be victims are also asked to deposit donations thru money transfer,” he said.

Lapena has ordered the bureau’s Enforcement and Security Service to investigate. He warned the public not to give any assistance, in cash or in kind, to anyone who will ask for money by using his name and the Bureau of Customs. 

Topics: Customs Commissioner Isidro Lapeña
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