UPDATE: ‘Let the President
fire me’ — Faeldon

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CUSTOMS Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon said he won’t quit his post unless President Rodrigo Duterte fired him.

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“I am a soldier. I do not treat this position as a job, but as a mission. A soldier does not quit on his mission,” Faeldon said.

“Let the President fire me,” he added.

Faeldon stood his ground after getting flak from lawmakers at the House of Representatives over the entry of P6.4 billion worth of illegal drugs, particularly shabu (methamphetamine hydrochloride), in the country, bypassing scrutiny from Bureau of Customs (BOC).

President Rodrigo Duterte summoned Faeldon to Malacanang where they would meet at 4:30 p.m.

In an inquiry by the House committee on dangerous drugs, Customs was accused of conducting an illegal raid on Valenzuela City that led to the seizure of P6.4 billion worth of shabu.

Regional Director Wilkins Villanueva of the National Capital Region (NCR) said the BOC violated the Dangerous Drugs Act when its employees decided to initially transport just one of the five cylinders under a controlled delivery operation, leaving four other cylinders containing around 500 kilograms of shabu in the warehouse.

“How can we conduct an anti-illegal drug operation now that the drugs are already out of the cylinders? Everybody was touching the drugs. They (Customs) contaminated everything,” Villanueva said.

“They (Customs side) won’t listen to PDEA. They don’t listen to us experts. They insisted that only one cylinder will suffice for controlled delivery operation,” Villanueva added.

(PDEA is the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency.)

Rep. Ace Barbers of Surigao del Norte, committee chairman, and House Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas, for their part,  stressed that the raid in Valenzuela City was only based on a Letter of Authority (LOA), which could not supplant a search warrant.

“The LOA is not provided for by the [Dangerous Drugs] law. What you did violates chain of custody. You need to follow the law,” Barbers said.

“I don’t really know what your qualifications are for that post. You brought embarrassment to the President,” Barbers added.

 

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