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Philippines’ Duterte sacks all top customs officials after agency fails to intercept drugs

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte fired the head of the Bureau of Customs on Thursday. The move came after the agency failed to intercept more than a ton of drugs, the second such case in two years, Reuters said. Duterte has made a bloody fight against drugs the centerpiece of his administration since he won a presidential election in 2016. The president said Customs Commissioner Isidro Lapena was being removed from his post and all his deputies and top officials would be transferred. “The commissioners are out, the department heads are out,” Duterte said during a speech at a ceremony commemorating the founding of the coastguard. He said he was appointing a retired army general to take over the bureau, while soldiers and members of the coastguard would help him. Lapena, who was at the ceremony, expressed surprise by his transfer to a government training agency and thanked Duterte for his new appointment.

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