SEN. Panfilo Lacson will file next week smuggling and economic sabotage charges against detained former Customs chief Nicanor Faeldon for his alleged involvement in rice smuggling.
Lacson on Saturday clamied that he had completed the documents to justify the filing of charges of agricultural smuggling against Faeldon.
“Napakatibay ng kaso. Kumpleto ang dokumento (The case is strong. The documents are complete),” Lacson said in a radio interview.
“We have completed compiling the documents necessary to file anti-graft case and economic sabotage against former commissioner Faeldon,” he added.
The agricultural smuggling charge against Faeldon concerns his alleged involvement in the smuggling of rice worth P10 million, which is punishable under the Anti-Agriculture Smuggling Act of 2016, the lawmaker said.
“Dating ng dating ang dokumentong patungo sa kasong ifa-file namin (We keep on receiving documents that will lead us to file the case),” Lacson said.
Sought for comment, Faeldon’s lawyer, Jose Diño, dismissed Lacson’s threats.
“That is so funny. Press release lang ‘yan (That’s merely a press release),” Diño said.
“And he is just diverting attention from the ethics complaint that we filed against him. He cannot produce evidence (against Faeldon), that’s why,” Diño said in a phone interview.
The senator on August 23 gave a privilege speech entitled “Kita kita” (“I can see you”) wherein he accused Faeldon of benefitting from the “tara” (payoff) system at the Bureau of Customs.
Faeldon denounced Lacson for dragging his name into the smuggling scandal at the bureau and eventually refused to attend succeeding Senate probes into the smuggling of P6.4 billion worth of shabu from China in May.
The Senate Blue Ribbon Committee had cited Faeldon in contempt for snubbing the probe and detained him at the Senate. Faeldon dared Lacson to prove his allegations against him.
“Hinahamon ako ni Faeldon (Faeldon is challenging me), I’ll give it to him. You have to face this case in court,” he said.
The senator also said Customs fixer Mark Taguba will present evidence against Faeldon on Monday at the resumption of the shabu smuggling probe.
Lacson claimed Taguba would testify that Faeldon’s office had asked for a P250,000 “tara” to release his shipment. He said Taguba would present evidence that Faeldon himself asked for an additional P50,000.
“At pagkatapos noon na-release ang kargamento niya. So bahala na kayo mag-conclude pag narinig ninyo ang testimony ni Taguba (After that his shipments were released. So, it’s up to you to conclude once you hear the testimony of Taguba),” he said.
He added: “This is among the cases that we’re trying to develop and file against Faeldon.”
“Kasi ang taong ‘yan nagmamalinis. Ang pinakadelikadong tao sa mundo ang tanga na nagdudunung-dunungan at ‘yung corrupt na naglilinis-linisan (That man is trying to project a clean image. The most dangerous man on earth is one who is a fool but is trying to look smart and the corrupt one who acts as if he is clean),” Lacson said.