RESIGNED Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon and a Davao official linked to corruption at Bureau of Customs (BOC) were no shows on Tuesday at the resumption of the Senate inquiry on the illegal entry of P6.4 billion of “shabu” shipment into the country.
Faeldon’s attendance was much anticipated after he accused the son of Sen. Panfilo Lacson of smuggling. The allegations were made after Lacson claimed that the former chief of the BOC had received a P100 million “welcome gift” when he assumed the top post. Faeldon denied this.
Asked during his last flag ceremony at the BOC on Tuesday whether he would attend the Senate hearing, Faeldon said: “Bakit ako pupunta doon? (Why will I go there?)”
Meanwhile, Davao City Councilor Nilo “Small” Abellera also failed to appear before the blue ribbon committee for the second time but submitted an affidavit denying any involvement in the illegal shipment of P6.4 billion worth of “shabu” that slipped past Customs in May.
“I hereby state I have no knowledge let alone any participation in the shipment of shabu,” said Abellera, said to be a close friend of Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte, son of President Rodrigo Duterte.
Mark Taguba, a fly-by-night Customs broker, testified before the Senate that Abellera and two others were part of the “Davao group”, which demanded P5 million as one-time enrolment fee and P10,000 weekly payoff per container.
Sen. Richard Gordon, chairman of the blue ribbon committee, ordered that a subpoena be issued to Faeldon and his chief of staff, Mandy Anderson, for them to attend the next hearing. JEFFERSON ANTIPORDA