PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte will not fire Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon just yet despite a recommendation from the House of Representatives, but will wait for what the Senate has to say, as well, a Malacanang spokesman said on Tuesday.
“The President will wait for the report of both chambers of Congress before deciding how to best address the issue,” Abella said.
“We will await the reports [of both House and Senate committees],” said Abella amid the ongoing congressional investigation as to how the P6.4 billion worth of illegal drugs were smuggled into the country, a shipment that even went through the Bureau of Customs’ green or express lane.
The House recommendation to dismiss Faeldon came from the committee on dangerous drugs chaired by Rep. Ace Barbers of Surigao del Norte.
At the Senate hearing on Tuesday, Faeldon blamed Larribert Hilario, head of the Customs’ Risk Management Office (RMO) for his supposed failure to raise the red flag.
Hilario argued, however, that the RMO was only in charge of determining the risk factors of a shipment.
Faeldon has also been under fire from lawmakers over his decision to raid Barangay Ugong Valenzuela City warehouse only with a Letter of Authority coming from him instead of a search warrant.
Lawmakers also questioned Faeldon’s competence as head of the BOC.
Only one of the five craters under a controlled delivery operation of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) was opened, leaving four other craters containing around 500 kilograms of shabu in the Valenzuela warehouse to be used as evidence against warehouse owner Richard Tan.
The Dangerous Drugs Act states that PDEA is mandated to “take charge and have custody of all dangerous drugs and/or controlled precursors and essential chemicals seized, confiscated or surrendered to any national, provincial or local law enforcement agency, if no longer needed for purposes of evidence in court.”