MANILA, Philippines — Resigned Customs commissioner Nicanor Faeldon, declared in contempt by the Senate, vowed to show up at the chamber on Monday, not to participate in the inquiry into the smuggling of drugs into the country but, to be arrested.
Faeldon was declared in contempt by Senator Richard Gordon, the chairman of the Blue Ribbon committee, after the former chief of the Bureau of Customs snubbed Thursday’s hearing and instead sent a statement saying he was staying away from the proceedings in “protest” of what he called “baseless allegations” raised against him and other Customs officials over the smuggling in of P6.4 bill worth of crystal meth or “shabu” from China.
Gordon said Friday Faeldon “may come on his own volition but if he does not come on Monday, then we will arrest him.”
But the former Customs chief said: “I will go the Senate and let myself be arrested but I will not go there to attend the hearing.”
Faeldon confirmed it was the privilege speech of Senator Panfilo Lacson, which accused him and other former military officers he had brought into the BOC of accepting bribes to release shipments, including contraband, which made him decide to stop participating in the inquiry.
Gordon clarified that personnel of the Senate sergeant-at-arms were not deployed to arrest Faeldon on Friday but only to deliver the contempt order.
He explained that the reason Faeldon’s letter was not read in full during Thursday’s hearing was because it was “very derogatory” to Lacson and “very defiant” to Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, who has also come down hard on the former Customs chief.
He added that notwithstanding the contempt order, Gordon stressed that “we are not people who are brutal, we just want to make sure na um-attend ka na (that you attend already).”
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