Justice Assistant Secretary Moslemen Macarambon Jr. on Tuesday denied allegations that he has been intervening on behalf of suspected gold and jewelry smugglers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia).
Macarambon is one of the two assistant secretaries that President Rodrigo Duterte called to resign or they will be sacked.
READ: Resign or be axed, Duterte tells 2 assistant secretaries
His name was mentioned by Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque at a Palace briefing before joining President Duterte in a send-off ceremony of Filipino scientists who will be conducting maritime research in the Philippine Rise.
Citing investigation results from the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC), Roque said Macarambon “has regularly been intervening on behalf of suspected smugglers of gold and other precious jewelry at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.”
“As far as I’m concerned I did not do anything wrong,” Macarambon told reporters in a phone patch interview.
He explained that he only recalled one incident when he asked the Bureau of Customs (BOC) to re-compute taxes and that was on Dec. 23, 2017 for his daughter-in-law.
Macarambon said his daughter-in-law and her family were held by the BOC and told them to pay P6-million in taxes for the jewels with an assessed value of P7-million.
He said he sought a request to recompute until the amount was reduced to P1.38-million.
Macarambon said he will send President Duterte a letter to explain his side.
“As a matter a fact I will write him (President Duterte) a letter I will explain my side,” he said.
“I just want to clear my name kasi yang pag-resign namen nasa kanya na yun (It’s up to him if Duterte accepts my resignation) but I just want to clear my name wala ako ginawa masama (I did not do anything wrong),” he explained.
Meanwhile, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said the issue is a matter of trust and confidence.
“It’s a matter of trust and confidence. It’s the President who has the authority to terminate such appointment,” Guevarra said adding that it was the President himself who appointed Macarambon.