Palace on Lacson accusations vs Faeldon: Duterte will support all investigations

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PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte will support all investigations into the corruption at the Bureau of Customs (BOC), following the exposé of Sen. Panfilo Lacson, Malacanang said on Thursday.

Palace spokeman Ernesto Abella issued the statement after Lacson accused outgoing Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon of receiving bribe money and tolerating corruption in the agency.

READ: Faeldon received P100M ‘welcome gift’ as new Customs chief

“Of course the President will support all investigations,” Abella told reporters in a press conference.


“At this stage, since the inquiries have started I think it’s best that we do not be seen interfering in any way at all,” he added.

In a privilege speech outlining the extent of corruption at the BOC, Lacson also named the alleged bribe givers at the agency and the bagmen or collectors who facilitated the so-called “tara” system or bribery that has long plagued the agency.

Faeldon has denied the allegations against him and said he could vouch for the people implicated in Lacson’s list. He, in turn, accused Lacson and his family of involvement in smuggling and corruption.

According to Faeldon, Lacson’s son, Panfilo “Pampi” Lacson Jr., allegedly owned the undervalued (by at least 50-percent) shipment he and his appointed officers discovered during their first few days in office.

During a press conference, he showed documents showing billions of pesos worth of allegedly smuggled shipment.

Since Lacson “seems to know everything in the BOC,” Faeldon said he must be aware of his son’s illegal activities.

Asked about Faeldon’s allegations against Lacson’s son, Abella said, “That also has to be verified and also has to go under proper investigation.”

On Monday, Duterte named Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) chief Isidro Lapeña to replace Faeldon at the BOC.

This came following his statement that Faeldon had attempted three times to quit his post amid the drug and corruption issues hounding the BOC.

Duterte has repeatedly said that he stood by Faeldon, despite persistent calls for the BOC chief’s resignation.

He has said he believed in Faeldon’s “integrity” even after the BOC was questioned over the illegal shipment of P6.4 billion worth of “shabu” from China.

“Of course the President will support all investigations,” Abella told reporters in a press conference.

“At this stage, since the inquiries have started I think it’s best that we do not be seen interfering in any way at all,” he added.

In a privilege speech outlining the extent of corruption in the BOC, Lacson also named the alleged bribe givers at the agency and the bagmen or collectors who facilitated the so-called “tara” system or bribery that has long plagued the agency.

Faeldon has denied the allegations against him and said he could vouch for the people implicated in Lacson’s list. He, in turn, accused Lacson and his family of involvement in smuggling and corruption.

According to Faeldon, Lacson’s son, Panfilo “Pampi” Lacson Jr., allegedly owned the undervalued (by at least 50-percent) shipment he and his appointed officers discovered during their first few days in office.

During a press conference earlier on Thursday, Faeldon showed documents showing billions of pesos worth of alleged smuggled shipment.

Since Lacson “seems to know everything in the BOC,” Faeldon said he must be aware of his son’s illegal activities.

Asked about Faeldon’s allegations against Lacson’s son, Abella said, “That also has to be verified and also has to go under proper investigation.”

On Monday, Duterte named Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) chief Isidro Lapeña to replace Faeldon at the BOC.

This came following his statement that Faeldon had attempted three times to quit his post amid the drug and corruption issues hounding the BOC.

Duterte has repeatedly said that he stood by Faeldon, despite persistent calls for the BOC chief’s resignation.

He said he believed in Faeldon’s “integrity” even after the BOC was questioned over the illegal shipment of P6.4 billion worth of “shabu” (methamphetamine hydrochloride) from China.

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