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Meet Customs Officer Ottoman Mamardo

We got in late from HKG because our flight was delayed. We landed and taxied to Terminal 3 the 'new' one... A/C was really cold because there were so few people in the terminal. The walkalators were off the rest rooms were still clean, I think they've been on trials for the past few weeks or so? Immigration was fairly fast because again there was only 1 plane that landed.

Customs took a lot of time because we were harassed by a gentleman by the name of Ottoman Mamardo, a customs officer...He asked me to open my luggage and immediately went to the boxes. He saw the Canon G9 Box, the Jabra BT3030 box, the HTC S730 box and he wanted to tax them! I said that those were for personal use [because they are!] and he said that they're still taxable. He also wanted to tax the microSDHC memory card and even a CD from HMV. Suffice to say this officer was either on a power trip or just plain hungry, he said that I shouldn't buy abroad and buy locally? What the F is that???

Why do I think that he is crooked...? Simple really, he wore his ID inside his coat and so you couldn't see his name, the person he called to help him compute also hid her ID [I wasn't able to get her name], others on duty had their ID visible. Anyway after some fussing and a few uneventful phone calls [people Yap knew were asleep so they couldn't help] they got a bit scared and decided to tax me for 1 item only: they were helping me and said: Tulong ko na yan sa iyo, ito na lang i-tax natin (I'm helping you by taxing only this item) [referring to the G9].

They hold my passport and ask me to pay at the cashier.I go to pay for it at the cashier. No surprises they didn't have a credit card facility or a computer to input my transaction. I remarked that they would collect a lot more with a cc terminal. The lady behind the counter retorted that even Terminal 1 and 2 didn't have credit card payment for taxes... CASH only nice! Well fortunately for Yap, they accepted USD, he was taxed for shoes, again for personal use. When she was writing the official receipt she conveniently failed to create duplicates. So that's proof of hocus-pocus happening.

So why am I pissed? Ok, fine if it's the law that I'm bringing in taxable goods then I am willing to pay no problem as long as I know that the money goes to the treasury not some assholes' pockets. I mean I know that customs is corrupt but what about our foreign guests who encounter such stellar officers like Mr. Mamardo? We have a crappy image as it is and people like these don't help give a better impression of our country at all


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