Home Headlines SBMA consultant, exec in ‘kotong’ anomaly

SBMA consultant, exec in ‘kotong’ anomaly

SBMA chairman and administrator Jonathan D. Tan and Rep. Jefferson Khonghun meet the press after their dialogue with Subic Bay Freeport brokers and processors. Contributed photo

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT – Some 100 brokers and processors met with Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority chairman and administrator Jonathan D. Tan and Zambales 1st District Rep. Jeffrey Khonghun for a dialogue regarding “kotong” anomaly at the SBMA Seaport Department over the weekend.  

Khonghun said the Freeport brokers visited his office in Congress two weeks ago and complained about the massive payoff in the Seaport Department.

Allegedly involved in the anomaly are consultant for port operation Rico Reyes, and Seaport Department head Jerome Martinez, Seaport Department for reportedly receiving “kotong” money from the brokers and processors.

The brokers and processors identified the two in a “massive kotong system” allegedly receiving money before the release of their shipments. 

Despite their documents being complete, they claimed that they were still asked to proceed to the higher office (Seaport) and pay the corresponding money. 

One broker said, “kailangan merong pindot ng nasa taas before our gate passes and shipments were released.”

“I cannot solve the problem if I don’t know the issues, and now that these issues have surfaced, starting today (Sept. 29), I am putting Reyes on leave of absence.  He will not report for work immediately,” said Tan. 

“On the other hand, Martinez who holds a plantilla position will undergo due process.  I am seeking the assistance of Congressman Khonghun to fast track the investigation on Martinez,” he added. “We will not tolerate the wrongdoings kahit tao natin iyan. Sabi ko sa kanila wag na silang magbibigay ng kotong.”

The freeport administrator also asked the brokers to help by filing an affidavit of complaints as basis to remove Martinez from his position.      

(Attempts by Punto! to get the side of Reyes and Martinez failed as of posting time. The publication if open to their side pursuant to their right of reply.)



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