RESIGNED Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon claimed on Thursday that Senator Panfilo Lacson’s son and namesake was the “smuggler” at the Bureau of Customs (BOC).
In a press conference on Thursday, Faeldon presented documents showing Lacson Jr. bringing in a total of 67 shipments of cement worth P4.6 billion in one year through his company, “Bonjourno”.
Faeldon said of the total, only four were investigated under his term, all of which were “undervalued”.
Faeldon said this was a clear case of smuggling and that Lacson Jr. was an alleged “smuggler”.
Faeldon made his own expose, a day after Sen. Lacson released a “tara” list naming Customs staff and officials allegedly involved in the widespread corruption in the bureau.
In a privilege speech on Wednesday, Lacson said that Faeldon himself received a “welcome gift” of P100 million upon his assumption as Customs chief in July 2016.
Citing documents that his office gathered against Lacson’s son, Faeldon said that the first shipment containing 6,000 metric tons of cement and valued at P34 million came on July 12, 2016.
Faeldon said this was pointed out to him by his staff because “Bonjourno” wanted to pay only 50 percent of the freight cost.
Faeldon said that from the prevailing $16-$20 market rate, the firm wanted to pay only $8.
He said another shipment with 5,202 metric tons of cement valued at P29.3 million came on July 13 and a third on July 15, with 13,000 metric tons valued at P106 million. A fourth shipment was brought to Legaspi City, with 4,250 metric tons valued at P24 million.
Faeldon said that when he checked on the company profile of “Bonjorno”, he found out that in 2015, the company only had a paid up capital of P20,000.
Faeldon said the fact that he was undervaluating his cargo was a clear case of smuggling.
He added that even the Cement Manufacturers of the Philippines, in a letter to him, labeled Bonjourno as the alleged “top smuggler of cement”.
Faeldon said he would be filing smuggling charges against Lacson Jr.
When asked in a television interview why it was only now that he came out with his expose, Faeldon said he did not want to veer away from the ongoing investigation on corruption at Customs that was being undertaken by Sen. Richard Gordon, chairman of the blue ribbon committee.
However, Faeldon challenged Gordon to investigate Lacson.
Faeldon, whom President Rodrigo Duterte appointed to head the BOC, came under fire after a P6.4 billion worth of “shabu” shipment slipped through the bureau.
The discovery highlighted the systemic corruption at the BOC and prompted calls for Faeldon to resign.
On Monday, despite repeatedly clearing Faeldon from allegations of corruption, Duterte named Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency Chief Isidro Lapena to replace the retired military officer.