Senate ethics panel ‘tables’ Faeldon’s complaint vs Lacson
The Senate ethics committee has ruled to “hold in abeyance” and study further the complaint filed by resigned Bureau of Customs (BOC) chief Nicanor Faeldon against Senator Panfilo Lacson.
Senate minority leader Franklin Drilon raised the motion to “table” the complaint against Lacson. The motion was seconded by the other committee members.
Prior to this, Drilon and Senator Bam Aquino questioned Faeldon’s refusal to attend the Senate probe on the P6.4 billion worth of shabu shipment from China that slipped past the BOC.
Drilon said it was unfair for Faeldon to file a complaint against Lacson if he himself did not follow the rules of the Senate.
“He disregarded the rules of the Senate,” Drilon pointed out.
“His conduct is really contemptuous because he refuses to appear and so this is a disrespect to the processes of the Senate. If he disrespects the processes in the blue ribbon (committee), he has no right to appear before the ethics committee and ask for a relief,” Drilon added in a separate interview.
Drilon also pointed out that Faeldon will remain detained at the Senate until he “follows the rules.”
“Walang karapatang mag-demanda si Mr. Faeldon sa ethics committee hanggang hindi nya nirerespeto ang proseso ng blue ribbon committee… At hindi siya pakawalan. Pakakawalan lamang siya kung tapos na ang termino ng 17th Congress dahilan sa contemptuous conduct ang kaniyang ipinakita,” Drilon said.
(Mr. Faeldon does not have the right to file a complaint before the ethics committee until he respects the processes in the blue ribbon committee… and he will not be freed. He would only be set free if the term of the 17th Congress ends because of the contemptuous conduct he showed.)
Aquino, meanwhile, asserted that Faeldon could have been a valuable resource person to reveal the corruption inside the BOC, but the former customs head opted to repeatedly refuse to do so.
Senators Grace Poe, Risa Hontiveros and Gringo Honasan agreed with Aquino’s point.
Senate ethics committee chair Senator Vicente “Tito” Sotto also cited the immunity of lawmakers when a certain statement was made in a privilege speech during session or any hearing at the Chamber.
“Because of the issue of total parliamentary immunity, pwede na talaga i-dismiss ‘yun,” Sotto said. But the ethics committee opted to hold their decision “indefinitely.”
(Because of the issue of total parliamentary immunity, the complaint could already be dismissed.)
Sotto said that if Faeldon would continue to refuse to attend the Senate investigation on the illegal shipment of shabu from China, his complaint will be “more uncertain.”
“Ah wala, tagilid na ‘yan lalo. Totally mababasura na ‘yan,” said Sotto.
(That case would certainly become more uncertain. Totally, that would be junked.)
Faeldon filed on September 18 the ethics complaint against Lacson for accusing him of receiving P100 million purportedly as “welcome gift” when he assumed his position at the BOC.
Faeldon asked the committee to find Lacson guilty of “unethical, unparliamentary, and improper conduct.” He averred that Lacson must be suspended or expelled from office because of his privilege speech titled “Kita Kita.”
Faeldon likewise filed on Monday an ethics complaint against Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, who accused him of being “at the heart of the corruption” in the BOC.
Both Lacson and Trillanes brushed aside Faeldon’s complaints against them.
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