MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The Philippine president has put the corruption-plagued Bureau of Customs temporarily under military control amid a scandal after two huge shipments of illegal drugs reportedly slipped past through the port of Manila.
President Rodrigo Duterte made the announcement late Sunday in an expletives-laden speech in southern Davao city before an audience that included visiting Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi. At one point, Duterte made a rude gesture and uttered a profanity.
Duterte cited "a state of lawlessless" that he declared following a deadly 2016 bombing to justify putting the military in control of the customs bureau. He said says the agency's officials will be put on a "floating status" and required to conduct their work in a gymnasium in the presidential palace complex.