FORMER Bureau of Customs (BOC) Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon urged the Senate ethics committee to expel Sen. Panfilo Lacson for linking him to bribery and corruption in the bureau.
In a 14-page ethics complaint filed Monday, Faeldon accused Lacson of violating his constitutional right to be presumed innocent. He added that the senator committed serious misconduct.
“The unvarnished truth is that respondent Sen. Lacson’s public and malicious imputations of serious crimes against complainant Faeldon were all lies and he knows it,” Faeldon said in his complaint.
The former Customs commissioner based his complaint on the August 23 privilege speech of Lacson dragging him into the corruption activities at the BoC.
Lacson cited the “tara” or payoff system under which Customs officials and personnel arebribed for the speedy release of shipments that Faeldon failed to stop during his one-year stint at the BOC.
The senator said Faeldon received P100 million “pasalubong” (welcome gift) when he assumed his post as head of the BoC.
“All your accusations against me are lies,” Faeldon said in a brief news conference after he filed his complaint.
Faeldon was detained at the Senate after being cited in contempt for his refusal to attend the Senate blue ribbon committee inquiry into the P6.4 billion “shabu” shipment from China.
The former BOC chief was allowed to briefly leave his detention room to file the ethics complaint against Lacson.
“This is the only available venue for us right now to question the conduct of a senator specifically Sen. Lacson to use lies to destroy people,” Faeldon said, adding that Lacson should not hide behind his parliamentary immunity because it is not absolute specially when it is abused.
The former BOC official cited the 1960 ethics case filed against former Rep. Sergio Osmena 2nd that stemmed from the latter’s privilege speech attacking then President Carlos Garcia.
The House special committee found Osmena guilty of disorderly behavior and recommended his suspension from office.
Lacson merely shrugged off Faeldon’s complaint.
“Good luck to him,” he said, adding that he will also file a criminal complaint against the former Customs commissioner at the Office of the Ombudsman.
Lacson said the case cited by Faeldon involving Osmeña may not be applicable at present time because it happened before the 1987 constitution took force.
“We’re invoking here the 1987 Constitution. But again, that’s his (Faeldon) right. He can file and file and file,” he added.
Faeldon said he will also file an ethics complaint against Sen. Antonio Trillanes 4th for spreading lies.
“Trillanes also is a peddler of lies. He had lied so many times against me,” the former Customs chief said.