Senate won’t let DoJ-cleared ex-Customs boss walk free

  • Written by Camille P. Balagtas
  • Published in Top Stories
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Faeldon Faeldon

THE possibility of former Customs chief Nicanor Faeldon spending Christmas in the Senate is not farfetched.

This was according to Sen. Richard Gordon who explained that despite the Department of Justice’s findings clearing former Bureau of Customs  Faeldon et al of the drug charges over the smuggling of the P6.4 billion worth of shabu last May, the former BoC chief will remain in “detention” in the upper chamber.

The senator said Faeldon already questioned the move of the Senate before the Supreme Court but the committee will uphold its decision.

“There is a price to pay for not answering and he is fully aware of that,” Gordon said.

Gordon said the decision of the committee panel for Faeldon to remain under the Senate custody is just right considering his actions and his being disrespectful to the Senate.

For his part, Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III supported the view of Gordon saying that the possibility is not remote for Faeldon to spend not only Christmas in detention in the Senate but also New Year and even until the end of the 17th Congress in the year 2022.
Sotto said only Faeldon can change this if he will decide to cooperate with the committee and will answer the questions being asked of him.
Sen. Panfilo Lacson said the continuous refusal of Faeldon to face the Senate and answer questions from the Senators is his constitutional right but the Senate has also its constitutional duty to implement the rules and regulations.
Meanwhile Gordon, who chairs the Senate blue ribbon committee, further said that the dismissal by the DoJ of the charges against Faeldon, Gerardo Gambala, Milo Maestrecampo and Neil Estrella is not the complete story.
“Faeldon and Gambala may have been absolved in the importation of dangerous drugs but they are guilty of misfeasance and nonfeasance in allowing the entry of drugs through the green lane,” Gordon said.
“Maestrecampo, on the other hand, is guilty of malfeasance, misfeasance, and nonfeasance. The evidence shows that Maestrecampo provided aid in allowing the shipment of drugs to enter the country’s front doors smoothly through the green lane by providing HS codes.  There is also evidence showing his involvement with Mark Taguba. What about Neil Estrella? He was the one who botched the seizure operations—facts pointed to the failure to have been done deliberately,” Gordon said.
Gordon said his committee is still investigating the tara system other than the importation of drugs.
Customs officials, Gordon said, may still be further held liable on the tara by committing bribery and violating other laws specifically the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.