MANILA-- Amid lawmakers' clamor for his resignation, Bureau of Customs (BOC) Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon on Tuesday refused to step down after being embroiled in the controversy over the PHP6.4 billion worth of illicit drugs smuggled at the bureau.
House Dangerous Drugs Committee Chair Ace Barbers led the call for Faeldon's resignation during the congressional inquiry on the multi-billion peso shabu (methamphetamine hydrochloride) shipment from China.
Barbers cited the concept of delicadeza -- or behavior anchored on generally accepted moral standards -- practiced in many countries wherein officials embroiled in public scandals, controversies, or wrongdoings immediately resign from their posts.
"In other countries, these incidents would have all the officials resigning for delicadeza's sake. But hey, only [in] the Philippines as they say, our Customs officials are quick to pin the blame on another unqualified official under their command and hand-picked by them whose fault is that he wears a different uniform," Barbers said.
Faeldon, during the same hearing, rejected the lawmakers' call for resignation, insisting that only President Rodrigo Duterte can fire him.
"I am a soldier. I do not treat this position as a job; it is a mission. And a soldier does not quit from his mission but a soldier can be fired. So let the president fire me," Faeldon said.
In a separate interview, House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez expressed support to Barbers' call for Faeldon's resignation, describing the Customs chief as grossly incompetent.
"Well, I support the call of resignation na sinabi kanina ni Chairman Ace Barbers dahil po kung ako ang nasa posisyon na iyon ay talaga naman kung meron pa akong konting hiya na natitira ay talagang magreresign ako," Alvarez said.
The illegal shipment was discovered on May 30 when members of the BOC and the National Bureau of Investigation personnel raided a warehouse on Aster Street in Paso de Blas, Valenzuela City, based on a tip coming from their Chinese counterparts.
The consignee of the subject cargo carrying the shabu was identified as EMT Trading.
Source: Philippine News Agency