Manila Bulletin

Se­na­tors call Faeldon ‘haughty, ar­ro­gant’

- By MARIO B. CASAYU­RAN Nigeria News · Corruption · U.S. News · Politics · Crime · Congress of the United States · Panfilo Lacson · Philippines · Namibia · Saudi Arabia · Nigeria · Vicente Sotto III · Francis Escudero · Philippines Department of Finance · Carlos Dominguez

Se­na­tors pounced yes­ter­day on em­bat­tled Bu­reau of Cus­toms (BOC) Com­mis­sioner Ni­canor Faeldon for what they called his “haugh­ti­ness and ar­ro­gance” in deal­ing with mem­bers of Congress.

Sen. Pan­filo M. Lac­son, chair­man of the Se­nate pub­lic or­der and dan­ger­ous drugs com­mit­tee, ac­cused Faeldon of speak­ing “ar­ro­gantly too soon’’ when he claimed Pres­i­dent Duterte had ex­pressed his con­fi­dence in his abil­ity to run the graft-plagued Cus­toms Bu­reau.

Af­ter at­tend­ing a meet­ing among Congress lead­ers held at Mala­canang called by Pres­i­dent Duterte, Lac­son said the Pres­i­dent told them that he would wait for the separate re­ports of the Se­nate and the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives be­fore mak­ing a de­ci­sion on calls by con­gress­men that Faeldon should re­sign.

Be­fore meet­ing se­na­tors and con­gress­men, the Pres­i­dent called Faeldon to Mala­canang where the Palace later stated that the Pres­i­dent had ex­pressed full con­fi­dence in Faeldon. Present in that meet­ing was Depart­ment of Fi­nance (DoF) Sec­re­tary Car­los Dominguez .

Lac­son said Faeldon gave the im­pres­sion to mem­bers of Congress that he was “of­fen­sive.”

This fol­lowed Faeldon’s ’’shame on you’’ state­ment to House mem­bers for al­legedly try­ing to med­dle in the man­age­ment of the Cus­toms Bu­reau such as the pro­mo­tion of their pro­tégés or of peo­ple em­ployed in the bu­reau.

The Cus­toms chief blurted the “shame on you’’ re­mark when he told con­gress­men hold­ing a pub­lic hearing that the rea­son for the suc­cess­ful smug­gling of 16.4 bil­lion worth of more than 600 ki­los of shabu was be­cause the Cus­toms Bu­reau was rid­dled with cor­rupt and in­com­pe­tent of­fi­cials and per­son­nel.

Con­gress­men had told Faeldon that the bet­ter al­ter­na­tive for his fail­ure to stem smug­gling of il­le­gal drugs into the coun­try was for him to re­sign.

“Eh, ngayon pa­paano kung bu-buwelta­han siya na mga con­gress­men at ad­verse ang gawin na com­mit­tee re­port. Maka-fac­tor in ‘yan sa fi­nal de­ci­sion ng Pres­i­dente kung ano ang magig­ing ka­palaran niya,’’ Lac­son said. (Sup­pos­ing the con­gress­men will run af­ter him and issue an ad­verse com­mit­tee re­port? That would be fac­tored in the de­ci­sion-mak­ing process of the Pres­i­dent on Faeldon’s fate.)

Lac­son ear­lier said that pe­ri­odic pay­ola given by bro­kers to cor­rupt Cus­toms men at the water­front amounted to 1270 mil­lion.

Se­nate Ma­jor­ity Leader Vi­cente C. Sotto III said Faeldon’s con­duct was meant to dis­tract the is­sues at hand.

“The issue is that huge amounts of drugs came out of the BOC. That is the issue ...is cor­rup­tion still ram­pant or is there in­com­pe­tence? The law­mak­ers are not the ones run­ning the bu­reau,’’ Sotto said.

Sen. Fran­cis (Chiz) Es­cud­ero de­manded that Faeldon should name names and not issue a shotgun ac­cu­sa­tion.

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