Senators call Faeldon ‘haughty, arrogant’
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.