Is Eric Palacios the right man for the job at Customs? - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Is Eric Palacios the right man for the job at Customs?

Posted: Jul 09, 2018 4:21 PM Updated:

A man tasked with leading the very agency that protects what comes in to our borders is in the hot seat. The current head of Guam Customs, who has been scrutinized based on his qualifications to do the job, is defending his role. Tonight, he goes before lawmakers.  

His leadership in question, the acting Director of the Guam Customs appearing for his confirmation hearing to determine whether he will remain the man in charge. Palacios was appointed two months back to lead the agency causing uproar over his qualifications. "I do have plan, protection, and quarantine experience as well from early in my working career," he explained.

Palacios trying to prove the naysayers wrong. "Just on Friday, I responded in the affirmative to the Department of Administration to proceed in providing us a certified list of candidates for 29 recruits," he stated.

 Recruits he says would replace the 35 officers lost in the years that followed findings of corruption within the agency. Palacios even touting renewed agreements with sister agencies in the CNMI and federal agencies like ATF, and the US Postal Inspection Service.  "We just memorialized our understanding of wanting to help each other, wanting to share resources, share Intel reports that we get and that they get, and seeing where we can bridge our collective enforcement efforts," he shared.

And he says his work is far from over, noting, "I'm going to make it my priority to finally get the officers hazardous duty pay because they deserve it, it's going to remain my priority to work on promotions that have been long standing, well-deserved promotions for both uniform and civilians, it's going to remain my priority to hire more personnel, both uniform and civilians."

Issues that if rectified he says could ultimately better improve the protection of borders and interception of drugs, as he noted, "When we don't provide those opportunities, the government is really doing them an injustice."

Though the outcome from Monday's hearing rests in the hands of lawmakers, Palacios is confident and ready to continue leading the agency. "Through the end of the administration, absolutely," he said. "We've begun so many different projects and I'd like to see a lot of them through to continue to push them forward. Beyond the current administration, if the opportunity presented itself to come back to Customs, I would do it in a heartbeat."

  • NEWS HEADLINESMore>>

  • Leonard Borja arrested for ice possession

    Leonard Borja arrested for ice possession

    He apparently ran a red light and had an expired registration when police pulled him over finding cocaine and meth. Leonard Borja is charged with two counts of possession of a schedule II controlled substance with intent to deliver and two counts of drugMore >>
    He apparently ran a red light and had an expired registration when police pulled him over finding cocaine and meth. Leonard Borja is charged with two counts of possession of a schedule II controlled substance with intent to deliver and two counts of drug More >>
  • 12 Russian nationals sought asylum on Guam in last two months

    12 Russian nationals sought asylum on Guam in last two months

    A dozen Russian nationals have come to Guam and declared asylum over the past two months. They were placed on Immigration hold and detained. Five have since been released and another was transferred. Local Tourism officials are keeping a close eye on theMore >>
    A dozen Russian nationals have come to Guam and declared asylum over the past two months. They were placed on Immigration hold and detained. Five have since been released and another was transferred. Local Tourism officials are keeping a close eye on the More >>
  • Charges for 7 prison beating defendants dismissed

    Charges for 7 prison beating defendants dismissed

    Its case dismissed for now. The charges for seven of the defendants accused in the deadly beating of detainee Edrite Manson Isar at the Hagatna Detention Facility last December are dismissed. Judge Anita Sukola granted the motion to dismiss the indictmentMore >>
    Its case dismissed for now. The charges for seven of the defendants accused in the deadly beating of detainee Edrite Manson Isar at the Hagatna Detention Facility last December are dismissed. Judge Anita Sukola granted the motion to dismiss the indictmentMore >>
Powered by Frankly