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Faeldon part of action plan—Palace

DESPITE mounting calls for his resignation over his failure to stop the entry of a shipment of shabu worth P6.4 billion, Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon is staying in his post as part of President Rodrigo Duterte’s plan for the corruption-ridden agency, Malacañang said Friday.

“So far as we can see, he has retained Faeldon,” said Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella. “So I suppose that’s part of his concrete action.”

Abella said the President needs men of integrity to do their job.

“While Mr. Faeldon has been concerned, naturally, that he does not embarrass the President, the President is also quite aware, based on his words, that the man can be trusted. And for the President, that is paramount,” Abella said. “While you can get people who are skilled, ...if [they are] lacking integrity, then that will be dangerous.”

On Thursday, Duterte said he had rejected Faeldon’s appeal to be relieved as head of the Bureau of Customs thrice. He also said Faeldon is here to stay because he wasn’t the type of person who could be corrupt.

Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon

At the same time, Abella slammed “very cynical” attacks on Duterte’s war on drugs after an opposition lawmaker condemned the thousands of deaths of poor drug suspects while illegal drugs slipped past the Bureau of Customs.

“I think that’s being very cynical, you know. That’s a different issue,” Abella said. “These are two separate issues and I believe that’s such a cynical way of looking at things.”

Senator Francis Pangilinan on Friday slammed the Duterte administration’s war on drugs following the killing of 57 drug suspects in anti-drug operations in Bulacan and Manila this week.

The Senate is conducting an investigation into the P6.4-billion shipment of shabu seized by the BOC in May, days after it slipped through the agency’s green lane.

Also on Friday, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II hit Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, who accused the Justice Department of setting the state to absolve a friend of presidential son Paolo Duterte in the shabu smuggling scandal.

“Amusing. I had a good laugh when I read it. We could all use the comic relief he provided,” Aguirre said in a statement.

“Senator Trillanes is already writing the ending of a story that has yet to start. While it is true that I said that there is a possibility for Mr. Dong to be a state witness, I also said that it will all depend on the determination of Mr. Dong not appearing to be the most guilty. Such a fact has yet to be established. The statement of Senator Trillanes at this point is [so] premature that it is laughable,” he added.

Dong was arrested by the National Bureau of Investigation on Tuesday for a case of rape that allegedly took place in April 2016.

Dong is also one of the respondents in the drug trafficking case filed by the NBI before the Justice Department in connection with the P6.4-billion shipment of shabu seized on May 26 in two warehouses in Valenzuela City owned by Hongfei Logistics Group of Companies, headed by Richard Chen.

Topics: Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon , Shabu shipment , President Rodrigo Duterte , Malacañang , Ernesto Abella , Bureau of Customs
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