Senate withholds arrest of Faeldon
The Senate will no longer serve the arrest order against former Bureau of Customs (BOC) chief Nicanor Faeldon pending his appearance at Monday’s hearing on the P6.4 billion worth of smuggled drugs shipment from China, Senate Sergeant-At-Arms Jose V. Balajadia Jr. said on Friday.
Balajadia said he already sent his men to enforce Faeldon’s arrest Friday morning but later ordered them to pull out after he was told by Senator Richard Gordon that the arrest order would only take effect if the former Customs official would again fail to appear at the hearing of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee on Monday.
Balajadia said his office received the arrest order signed by Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III Thursday night after the committee chaired by Gordon threatened to cite Faeldon for contempt and have him arrested for his repeated failure to attend the probe.
Upon receipt of the order, Balajadia immediately sent a team to serve the arrest order against Faeldon Thursday night but they were assured that the latter would voluntarily surrender this Friday morning.
But when he learned that Faeldon would hold a press conference at 10 a.m. at his residence in Taytay this Friday, the Sergeant-at-Arms said he phoned Gordon that they would arrest the former BOC official even in public.
It was at that point, Balajadia said, that Gordon explained to him that the arrest order would only take effect if Faeldon would not show up in the next hearing.
“Ang sabi ni Senator Gordon, sa Monday if he does not appear dun magte-take effect ang arrest order,” Balajadia said over the phone.
“Mali siguro ang pagkaintindi ko…,” he added.
But Balajadia strongly denied speculations that his office had a “weak” intelligence, noting that he already sent his people to arrest Faeldon immediately after receiving the order.
“So immediately kagabi pa nandun na mga tao ko sa mga lugar na pupuntahan nya (Faeldon),” he said.
“Naiinis lang ako na sinasabi na mahina ang intelligence but we were told to pull out (last night) because Faeldon will go with us this morning,” Balajadia added. KGA
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