RESIGNED Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon allegedly received P100 million as a welcome gift when he assumed his post as head of the bureau, Senator Panfilo Lacson said Wednesday.
In a privilege speech about the rampant corruption at the Bureau of Customs (BOC), Lacson said instead of cleansing it by eliminating what has been corrupting the agency, which is the “Tara” system, Faeldon allowed himself to be swallowed by it.
“If he (Faeldon) was the principled man that he said he was, he should have stood firm even if he was alone,” Lacson said.
According to the senator, there were “loud whispers” at the BOC about the P100-million “pasalubong” (welcome gift) for the newly-installed commissioner.
The amount, however, did not go to the commissioner entirely because a quarter of the amount or P25 million was retained as finder’s fee by Faeldon’s middleman, whom Lacson identified as Joel Teves.
“Hell is empty and all the devils are at the Bureau of Customs,” said Lacson, paraphrasing William Shakespeare.
The “pasalubong” system, Lacson said, was reminiscent of the “goodbye pabaon” controversy discovered at the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in 2011.
It referred to the money given to a retiring AFP chief of Staff as send-off money.
Faeldon’s name also appeared on top of the list of BOC officials that have been receiving regular payoffs from customs “players” or brokers.
He assumed the top post at the BOC on June 30, 2016.
He was sacked by Duterte on Monday.