Senator Panfilo Lacson said on Tuesday that no less than Bureau of Customs (BOC) chief Isidro Lapeña confirmed that his predecessor, Nicanor Faeldon, had received P107-million “pasalubong” or “welcome gift.”
“No less than Commissioner Lapeña testified — he confirmed that there’s indeed pasalubong money,” the Senator said in an interview on ANC television.
Lapeña, who was appointed by President Rodrigo Duterte as the new BOC chief amid accusations against Faeldon, came to Lacson’s office before attending a Senate hearing and informed the senator that Faeldon did not only get P100-million, but he received P107-million.
“And he confided to me that, ‘Sir, hindi P100 million ang kay Faeldon,’ sabi niya P107 [millon] ang inabot. Before the hearing, he came up to my office and informed me, ‘Sir, na-discover kona yung pasalubong. Totoo yan. I myself’ — He (Lapeña) experienced it [And he confided to me that, ‘Sir it’s not P100-million that Faeldon received,’ he said it was P107-million. Before the hearing, he came up to my office and informed me, ‘Sir, I have discovered the welcome gift. It’s true. I myself (Lapeña) experienced it],” Lacson said.
Lacson said that according to the BOC chief, one of the sources of the gift for new commissioners are tax credit certificates (TCCs).
“Somebody whispered to him na ang source nga, or one of the sources at least, ay yung tax credit certificates (TCCs) [Somebody whispered to him that the source, or one of the sources at least, are tax credit certificates (TCCs)],” the senator said, adding that those certificates are issued to big companies which they could use for future payments or could be converted to cash.
“Billions of pesos ito eh [It’s billions of pesos],” Lacson said referring to TCCs.
In a privilege speech in August, Lacson accused Faeldon of “promoting” corrupt practices in the BOC and have received a P100-million welcome gift when he assumed the post in 2016.
Faeldon has since denied Lacson’s accusations that he was among those who received grease money at the BOC.
In an interview on News To Go earlier, Faeldon said he is willing to sign a document waiving his right to bank secrecy for investigation on the corruption allegations.