Former Bureau of Customs (BOC) Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon, through a motion on Thursday, asked the Department of Justice (DOJ) to dismiss the criminal case filed against him on his involvement with the P6.4 billion worth of shabu smuggled from China due to lack of jurisdiction.
The ex-Customs Commissioner cited through his lawyer Jose Diño Jr. that the case against him should have been filed before the Office of the Ombudsman and the Sandiganbayan.
“This DOJ investigating panel, with all due respect, has no primary jurisdiction to conduct the preliminary investigation insofar as movant Mr. Faeldon, as the offenses and felonies alleged by the complainant Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) were committed by Faeldon, an SG 30, and that those offenses or felonies, were also allegedly committed in relation to Mr. Faeldon’s office,” the motion stated.
It added, “Indisputably therefore, Mr. Faeldon, being an SG 30, belongs to a class of public officers whose alleged offenses, if any, are within the primary and exclusive jurisdiction of the OMB, for the purpose of preliminary investigation, and the Sandiganbayan, in the event an information is filed by the OMB, for trial on the merits.”
PDEA filed criminal complaints against Faeldon and 11 other BOC officials namely Milo Maestrecampo, Neil Anthony Estrella, Joel Pinawin, Oliver Valiente, Vincent Phillip Maronilla, Jeline Maree Magsuci, Alexandra Ventura, Randolph Cabansag, Dennis Maniego, Dennis Cabildo, and John Edillor for their alleged connection to the importing of illegal drugs and the ‘harboring or concealing, or facilitating the escape’ of drug traffickers.
The PDEA also filed a complaint for allegedly “causing any undue injury to any party, including the government, or giving any private party any unwarranted benefits, advantage or preference in the discharge of his official administrative or judicial functions through manifest partiality, evident bad faith or gross inexcusable negligence.”
The DOJ asked PDEA to reply to Faeldon’s motion within five days.