Faeldon heeds lawyer’s advice, attends Senate hearing

MANILA -- Former Customs commissioner and now Office of Civil Defense deputy administrator Nicanor Faeldon faced the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee Monday -- the first time since he was detained after being cited in contempt September last year.

Wearing a black shirt bearing the words Truth is Justice, Faeldon showed up at the Senate panel headed by Senator Richard Gordon, after being advised by his lawyer Jose Dino.

Gordon warned over the weekend that if Faeldon failed to face the committee, he could decide to order the transfer of his detention to the Pasay City jail.

Gordon, however, said that he would let Faeldon go once he faces the committee and spill the beans.

During the hearing into the shabu shipment, Gordon asked Faeldon if he had a party with his relatives during Christmas.

Faeldon refused to call it a "party" and told Gordon that he was exaggerating as it was merely a simple dinner.

An irked Gordon told Faeldon not to tell him what to do.

Heated exchange

Faeldon and Gordon got into a heated exchange after the former said that he attended the hearing to ferret the truth, however, noted that the committee was far from achieving it.

I attended this hearing because I am now a government employee not because I expect that you will lead this committee to find out the truth. You are so far from getting that, your honor, Faeldon told Gordon.

Meanwhile, Gordon told Faeldon that he would remain being cited under contempt.

Faeldon rejected Gordon's claims that he had avoided to answer the committee's questions saying he insisted last September 11 that he would continue to answer questions in affidavit form.

I have not avoided. In September 11, when we had a meeting, I told you in our meeting that I will continue to answer all your questions in affidavit form. Until today, not a single question 'pinadala mo sa'kin (was sent to me), Faeldon said.

If you are interested about the truth you can ask me those questions and I will always answer them in affidavit but you have been telling the public that I do not want to participate, he added.

Faeldon told Gordon to stop pretending that he did not want to participate.

Gordon called him out of line and told him to wait for a question to be asked and before answering.

Faeldon answered by telling Gordon that he was already monologue-ing and lecturing.

This is the reason why I do not want to attend here because you're not interested about the truth, Faeldon said.

Gordon threatened to place Faeldon into submission if he would continue to speak without being recognized.

If you're not recognized do not answer otherwise we will put you into submission, Gordon said.

President Rodrigo Duterte earlier appointed Faeldon as OCD deputy administrator four months after he resigned as Customs commissioner in August amid the controversy over the PHP6.4 billion shabu shipment from China that slipped past Customs lanes.

Faeldon was cited in contempt on September 12 last year after he refused to attend the hearings on the illegal shipment.

Source: Philippine News Agency