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Replaced? Customs chief says he was not informed

Replaced? Customs chief says he was not informed

MANILA, Philippines — Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero on Friday said he was not informed about his supposed replacement by President Rodrigo Duterte.

Guerrero said that he, too was surprised upon reading a news report that Duterte had offered the Customs chief’s post to special envoy to China, William de Jesus Lima, during a dinner in Malacañang on Wednesday night.

“Ako mismo hindi ko rin alam and I am still waiting for the guidance from the President and the Secretary of Finance (I, myself, don’t even know and I am still waiting for the guidance from the President and the Secretary of Finance),” he said during a media fellowship in Manila.

Guerrero however said he is taking these developments in stride.

“Sabi ko, we serve at the pleasure of the president. I am a presidential appointee, anytime pwede akong tanggalin ng appointing authority (I said, we serve at the pleasure of the president. I am a presidential appointee, I can be replaced by my appointing authority anytime),” he said.

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, meanwhile, downplayed the reports. The BOC is an attached agency of the finance department.

“I met with the President for several times this week and he never even hinted at this,” Dominguez said in a text message.

The report quoted a “reliable Palace source” who claimed that Duterte’s offer to Lima was accepted.