MANILA — Former Bureau of Customs (BOC) Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon challenged Senator Panfilo Lacson to file cases against him and other personnel who the latter tagged as involved in corruption.
At the agency’s flag raising ceremony Tuesday morning, the outgoing Customs chief noted that the lawmaker should prove his claims by filing cases against them.
“So I challenge you again to file cases against all those you have named involved in corruption. If you cannot file a case against us, that is such an idiotic move of yours. You should have asked your lawyers, you should have asked your conscience if it is appropriate for you to hide behind the cloak of your immunity. To malign, to destroy, further destroy this institution. Most importantly, ano ba tingin mo sa amin dito, hayop kami? (What do you take us for? You think we’re animals?) Mga pinangalan mo (Those you have named), do you have an iota of evidence, how about our families you have destroyed?” he said.
Faeldon added, “Sen. Lacson, you have to file cases against me and the rest you have accused. Bring us to justice. And again I am challenging the constitutionality of your immunity. All of you Congressmen, Senators. Effective today I will challenge that your authority, or your immunity to malign people.”
With this, he reminded his accusers regarding provisions of the bill of rights.
“The bill of rights guarantees the presumption of innocence of the accused. Pero kung magsalita kayo dyan, (inakusahan) nyo na kami (at hinusgahan). (But in your words, you have accused and already judged us). Is it not a violation of the Constitution that is supposed to protect your immunity. Effective today, I will challenge the propriety of your action, I will challenge that immunity, the definition of your immunity. How many more innocent families will you be destroying in aid of your grandstanding,” added Faeldon, whose resignation was accepted by President Rodrigo Duterte last week.
Meanwhile, the outgoing BOC chief expressed gratitude to employees for supporting the reforms he introduced to make the agency more viable and productive.
“I would like to thank everyone. Yes the reforms are very painful. I have been very blunt because that is what I am. I do not backbite you, kung meron ako gusto sabihin sa ‘yo, I tell it right to your face. I don’t take it personally, but that is how serious I am in trying to attain all our dreams in reforming this bureau,” he said.
Faeldon added, “But in spite of that I have seen the eagerness, the promptness, the willingness, the enthusiasm of everyone to carry the cudgels of reform the President all want us to be. Nakita ko sa inyo. So from the bottom of my heart, I would like to thank all of you.”
He also reiterated his call to the employees to support his successor in the bureau.
Last week, President Duterte officially announced that Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency Dir. Gen. Isidro Lapeña will replace Faeldon as the new BOC chief. (PNA)