• Faeldon snubs anew Senate probe on Customs corruption

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    FORMER Customs commissioner Nicanor Faeldon snubbed the Senate blue ribbon investigation on the smuggling of P6.4 billion “shabu” shipment from China, as well as the “tara” (payoff) system at the Bureau of Customs (BOC).

    “I will attend all investigations to be conducted by a competent court anytime, anywhere when cases are filed against me,” said Faeldon in a letter addressed to Sen. Richard Gordon, chairman of the panel, on Thursday, explaining his reasons why he will no longer attend any congressional public hearing on smuggling.

    “I have the highest respect to the Senate as an institution that is why I attended two hearings even with just an invitation, hoping that my side will also be heard,” Faeldon said. He also submitted a waiver allowing the Senate to look into his bank accounts here and abroad.

    Faeldon complained that after attending two public hearings he was not given a chance to fully explain his side. “I was expecting that I would be given enough time and opportunity to be heard so that the Senate and the public will know what happened.”

    “It is really frustrating to answer by only yes or no without a chance to explain my answers. Also, some questions cannot be answered by a mere yes or no,” he said.

    He complained that Sen. Panfilo Lacson has stated that he received P75 million as a bribe and that he regularly received bribe money from corrupt importers. “I categorically deny his accusations. Sen. Lacson lied when he claimed this.”

    “Sen. Antonio Trillanes has publicly accused me that I received bribe money. Sen. Trillanes also lied when he claimed this. Those senators and congressmen who have lied to malign me and other innocent resource persons have destroyed our reputations, that of our families and caused daily trauma to us and our families,” he said.

    Gordon and the rest of the panel members will have an executive session to determine whether they will cite Faeldon in contempt for his refusal to attend the investigation.

     

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