Senate committee shelves Faeldon ethics complaint pending ‘cooperation’

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THE Senate Committee on Ethics deferred action on the complaint filed by detained former Customs chief Nicanor Faeldon against two senators until he agreed to cooperate with the investigation on the smuggling of P6.4 billion shabu from China.

Faeldon was detained at the Senate after he was cited in contempt for his refusal to attend the investigation on the shabu smuggling scandal, as well as the “tara” (payoff) system at the Bureau of Customs (BOC).

Senators Antonio Trillanes 4th and Panfilo Lacson claimed that Faeldon was involved in the two controversies. The former Marine captain denied the allegation and declined to serve as resource person on the investigation by the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee. He instead filed an ethics complaint against the two senators for maligning him.

Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto 3rd moved to dismiss Faeldon’s complaints but Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon moved to “table or hold [them]in abeyance.”

“We should not terminate until we compel him to appear. The purpose of citing them in contempt is to compel them to testify. That’s the rule. The detention is not a penalty but a form of coercion for them to appear,” Drilon said. BERNADETTE E. TAMAYO

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