News Release

President Duterte appoints Guerrero as new Customs Chief, transfers Lapeña to TESDA

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte delivers his speech during the 117th anniversary of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) at the Port Area in Manila on October 25, 2018. REY BANIQUET/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

MANILA — President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Thursday, October 25, appointed former Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) Administrator Rey Leonardo “Jagger” Guerrero as the new Bureau of Customs Chief, replacing General Isidro “Sid” Lapeña.

“I know that you are happy there and you are contented, so I’ve heard, but the demands of public service and the need for honest men requires your presence there,” President Duterte told Guerrero during his speech at the 117th Anniversary of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) at the Ceremonial Area, PCG Headquarters in Port Area, Manila.

On the other hand, President Duterte transferred General Lapeña to TESDA as the new Director-General.

“General Lapeña will move to TESDA. I will promote you to a Cabinet member position,” he said.

“So Sid [Lapeña], ‘yung trabaho ng TESDA… it could be messy at times. But I’m sure your training as a military man just like Jagger would augur well for the country,” he added.

The President also expects that the reshuffling will take effect as soon as possible.

In the meantime, President Duterte also ordered the freezing of all section department units of the Bureau of Customs, up to the last official. “The commissioners are out; the department heads out,” he said.

“My orders to you, Jagger [Guerrero], is ilagay mo ‘yan sila sa opisina sa lahat. They are on floating status whoever. The outer periphery nandiyan will be taken care of by the Coast Guard and maybe you can utilize military men. The excess diyan sa walang trabaho…lalo na ‘yang mga babae,” said the President.

“And I’m ordering the Coast Guard to provide the outer periphery and you might want to utilize some departmental… I don’t know… but I’ll talk to you and leave it to your discretion,” he continued.

President Duterte reiterated how passionate he is in eradicating corruption in the administration. He then reminded everyone, especially the ones working in the government to be “content with what we have and work for the benefit of the entire Filipino nation.”

President Duterte lauds Philippine Coast Guard for securing maritime territories

Meanwhile, before the revamp announcements in the government, President Duterte commended the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) for their exemplary efforts in securing the nation’s maritime borders.

“The fulfillment of your mandate to enforce maritime law, protect our [marine] environment, and secure our maritime territories has contributed greatly in keeping our people safe from the dangers that may come at sea,” he said.

The President noted that since 2016, the acquisition of PCG’s new equipment enhances the institution’s law enforcement capabilities.

He, however, said that their success still relies on the dedication of PCG personnel.

“I urge the entire Philippine Coast Guard to build on its accomplishments and to continue its efforts in upholding our country’s maritime security,” he noted.

“More than ever, we need brave men and women like you in safeguarding our seas and shores, especially at this period when our resources are becoming crucial to the progress of our economy,” he continued.

President Duterte then assured the PCG of his administration’s steadfast support in strengthening the maritime personnel’s capabilities by raising its standards through streamlined infrastructure and modernized equipment. ###PND