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>>

  • 3 arrested in robbery near Tamuning restaurant

    3 arrested in robbery near Tamuning restaurant

    Three people are accused in a Sunday night robbery and purse snatching in the parking lot of a Tamuning restaurant. Roy Craig Guerrero, 33, Cameron Guerrero, 26, both from Agana Heights and a 16-year-old-boy each face charges of robbery, theft of propertyMore >>
    Three people are accused in a Sunday night robbery and purse snatching in the parking lot of a Tamuning restaurant. Roy Craig Guerrero, 33, Cameron Guerrero, 26, both from Agana Heights and a 16-year-old-boy each face charges of robbery, theft of propertyMore >>
  • No plywood, no problem: man gets permission to use political signs as shutters

    No plywood, no problem: man gets permission to use political signs as shutters

    Hunkering down and securing properties before the onset of Typhoon Mangkhut, Guam residents were serious about storm preparations. It was no different for Robert Vasquez, a local teacher who came up with a rather interesting way to secure his home. It wasMore >>
    Hunkering down and securing properties before the onset of Typhoon Mangkhut, Guam residents were serious about storm preparations. It was no different for Robert Vasquez, a local teacher who came up with a rather interesting way to secure his home. It wasMore >>
  • New lawsuit files alleging molestation by priest

    New lawsuit files alleging molestation by priest

    Mediation talks may have started on Monday, but the lawsuits continue to be filed. The latest complaint comes from a 68-year-old man only identified by his initials, J.W. He alleges he was molested by Father Louis Brouillard at the Malojloj parish and FatMore >>
    Mediation talks may have started on Monday, but the lawsuits continue to be filed. The latest complaint comes from a 68-year-old man only identified by his initials, J.W. He alleges he was molested by Father Louis Brouillard at the Malojloj parish and FatMore >>
Powered by Frankly