Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon asked President Rodrigo Duterte to fire him three times, but his request was not granted.
The President made the disclosure when he visited the Ozamiz City Police station on Thursday, where he reiterated his offer to reward P2 million to anyone who can pinpoint police officers in cahoots with the late Ozamiz City Mayor Reynaldo Parojinog who was killed in an anti-drug operations last month.
“Faeldon wrote to me thrice, asking me to relieve him. He said he failed to fulfill his promise,” Duterte said.
Faeldon is under fire over the entry of P6.4 billion worth of shabu smuggled through the Bureau of Customs’ green lane.
“He was right in saying he can’t control it, that he can’t do it. Because Customs is hard core…corrupt to the core,” Duterte said.
The President had stood by the beleaguered Customs chief, who landed in hospital after being summoned by the Senate and House of Representatives.
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.
“I stand by him. He’s really honest. Kaya lang nalusutan because lahat diyan sa Customs corrupt [The shipment was released because everyone there in Customs is corrupt],” the President said.
Lawmakers had questioned Faeldon’s competence and called for his resignation.
Two of Faeldon’s deputies— Intelligence and Investigation Service Director Neil Anthony Estrella and Import Assessment Service Director Milo Maestrecampo resigned because of the drug smuggling controversy.