Faeldon attends Senate probe on P6.4-B shabu shipment

MANILA -- A week after being confined in the hospital, Bureau of Customs (BOC) Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon on Tuesday finally appeared before the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee's investigation on the entry of PHP6.4 billion shabu shipment from China.

Faeldon was earlier confined at the Manila East Medical Center until August 8 to treat a heart condition called non ST elevation myocardial infarction acute coronary syndrome; hypertension urgency hypertension stage II.

During the hearing, Faeldon was questioned by Senator Antonio Trillanes IV about the existence of corruption in his bureau. The BOC chief, however, refused to answer noting that Trillanes had already accused him of being at the heart of smuggling shabu into the country.

Faeldon turned emotional stressing that it was "pointless" to answer the senator's questions because he had already been judged.

"I will no longer answer questions from honorable Senator Trillanes," Faeldon told the committee.

Senator Richard Gordon, committee chair, eventually called for a break to speak to Faeldon who eventually admitted that corruption is indeed present in the bureau.

Trillanes earlier confirmed that Faeldon joined him as part of the Oakwood Mutiny in 2003 and the Manila Siege in 2007. However, he said that he was never part of the Magdalo group where Trillanes was a part of.

The senator, in the same hearing, revealed that he and Faeldon were in good terms before the campaign period for the May 2016 elections.

Last week, BOC's Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS) Director Neil Anthony Estrella admitted that he did not follow procedures to coordinate with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) upon receiving information on the illegal shipment from China in a Valenzuela warehouse.

Estrella, who had already resigned from his post, said that he did not immediately coordinate with PDEA after he learned of the shipment because CIIS was still validating the information.

Source: Philippine News Agency