Customs files administrative case in SC vs Manila judge over Mighty Corp TRO

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — The Bureau of Customs (BOC) filed an administrative case at the Supreme Court (SC) against the judge who granted the temporary restraining order (TRO) against them in favor of local cigarette manufacturing company Mighty Corporation.

Alvin Ebreo, the BOC legal service director, led the filing of the administrative case against Judge Tita Bughao Alisuag of Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 1.

The TRO was issued on March 6 to stop the BOC's raids and inspections on Mighty Corp's warehouses.

It has a 20-day effectivity starting on March 3, when Mighty Corp. filed for the injunction.

The 24-page BOC complaint filed by Ebreo asks the Supreme Court to declare Alisuag administratively liable for gross ignorance of the law.

"Nakita natin dun sa pag-issue niya ng temporary restraining order, which is, hinihingi ng Mighty [Corp.] is 72 hours, pero any binigay niya 20 days. Nakikita natin dito na questionable yung pag-issue niya," Ebreo said.

[Translation: We saw how he issued the temporary restraining order, which is, Mighty Corp. just asked for 72 hours, but he granted them 20 days. We could see that his issuance is questionable.]

The BOC raided four warehouses of Mighty Corp. in Pampanga on February 28, which revealed cigarette packs with fake tax stamps.

The cigarette manufacturer has claimed it may be because of faulty validating devices used by the agency.

Every pack of cigarette earns the government ₱30 in excise tax.

President Rodrigo Duterte said last Thursday he is willing to let Mighty Corp. off the hook if they pay ₱3 billion, which would be used for the development of hospitals in Basilan, Sulu and Manila.

Read: Duterte to Mighty Corp. owners: Pay ₱3-B and you're off the hook