PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has once again stood by Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon despite calls for his resignation following the congressional inquiries into the smuggling of illegal drugs worth P6.4 billion via the Port of Manila.
In his speech during the anniversary celebration of the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) in Malacañang on Wednesday, Duterte said Faeldon was surrounded by corrupt people at the Bureau of Customs (BOC).
“I stand by Faeldon. Nalusutan siya because lahat ng Customs corrupt,” the President said.
(The shipment went past him because everyone in Customs was corrupt.)
On August 1, Duterte summoned Faeldon to Malacañang amid calls for his resignation. It, however, turned out that Faeldon still enjoyed Duterte’s trust, which was echoed during their meeting.
The President said he still believed in Faeldon’s “integrity.”
“I believe in his integrity. As a matter of fact, he was in Davao four years ago when he was together with some military men, and they were urging me to run,” Duterte told reporters in an interview on August 2.
The embattled Customs commissioner has been grilled at the Senate and House of Representatives over P6.4 billion worth of “shabu” or methamphetamine hydrochloride that managed to escape detection by Customs but was exposed in a raid at a warehouse in Valenzuela City.
Faeldon has denied his involvement and blamed the corruption in Customs as the reason behind the illegal entry.