Lacson, Trillanes shrug off Faeldon’s plan to file ethics raps
Both Senators Panfilo Lacson and Antonio Trillanes IV on Friday shrugged off the plan of resigned Bureau of Customs (BOC) Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon to file an ethics complaint against them.
Lacson said it would be “a waste of paper and ink” for Faeldon to file a case against him for accusing the former commissioner of accepting bribes during a recent privilege speech.
Trillanes, who might also face ethics complaints against Faeldon, also belittled Faeldon’s plan, calling it a mere “gimmick.”
“It is the right of anybody to file an ethics complaint against any senator. In fact that was the advice to him by a fellow senator who visited him in his detention place,” Lacson said in a statement.
But Lacson cited one provision in the Constitution giving immunity to any member of the Senate or House from being held liable for making any speech during Congress sessions and hearings.
“The constitution however, is clear on the matter. Thus, Article 6 states: Section 11. A Senator or Member of the House of Representatives shall, in all offenses punishable by not more than six years imprisonment, be privileged from arrest while the Congress is in session. No member shall be questioned nor be held liable in any other place for any speech or debate in the Congress or in any committee thereof,” he said.
“Therefore, it is his right to waste bond paper and ink. Anyway, he has the money to pay his lawyers even if it’s tantamount to an exercise in futility and stupidity,” Lacson said.
For Trillanes’ part, he said of Faeldon: “That man seems to not run out of gimmicks. But at the end of the day, he needs to answer our questions.”
Faeldon’s counsel Jose Diño Jr. said the ex-commissioner will file ethics complaints against Lacson on Monday next week, and Trillanes the week after.
Faeldon is currently detained in the Senate after the blue ribbon committee cited him in contempt for deliberately skipping hearings on the P6.4 billion shabu shipment from China and the alleged “tara system” in the BOC.
The ex-commissioner earlier decried the allegations Lacson made in his privilege speech exposing the massive web of corruption in the BOC, including Faeldon and other top officials as bribe takers.
Faeldon also slammed Trillanes for saying that he’s at the heart of the corruption and smuggling controversy within the agency. /jpv
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