Gordon on Faeldon: I’m sorry for him
Senator Richard Gordon was feeling “sorry” for resigned Bureau of Customs (BOC) chief Nicanor Faeldon, as the latter continues to refuse facing the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee hearing on the smuggling of the P6.4 billion worth of illegal drugs from China.
According to Gordon, the former BOC official is “practically obstructing justice” by not testifying in the hearing.
Faeldon is currently detained at the Senate for contempt.
“What I’m just trying to say (is) he should be here to defend himself, after all he’s a marine. I’m sorry for him. I really am (because) in effect, he’s practically obstructing by not testifying here. He’s assuming that he’s gonna be held guilty,” Gordon said during Wednesday’s hearing.
“Right now, I don’t see any corruption. I just see negligence, plain and simple negligence, way over your head. But now, everything is going after him. So I’m sorry for him,” he added.
Gordon’s frustration stemmed from the response of Faeldon’s chief-of-staff, Mandy Anderson, who said Faeldon allowed her to disclose the names of individuals that tried to bribe the former Customs chief, including the one who gave him a watch.
“Yes, he’s willing that I divulge some names that I can remember,” Anderson said. “Only those names that I can remember.”
She also refuted fixer Mark Taguba’s claim that Faeldon gave in to corruption three months into his term and received “tara” from unscrupulous personalities at the agency.
“No, your honor, I believe that is completely untrue as far as we’re concerned at the Office of the Commissioner,” Anderson said.
“So you don’t believe that tara did not exist during your time?” Gordon asked.
“No, I believe tara existed but the fact that, si Commissioner Faeldon received tara, I just can’t believe it,” Anderson replied.
“We’ve always kept everything open with each other. So I cannot believe it. He’s never actually told me anyone offering anything to him except for that one time, the engagement ring and the watch,” she added.
Faeldon opted to stay in detention at the Senate than to face the committee, as he protested the allegations hurled against him by Senator Panfilo Lacson, who accused him of receiving a “welcome gift” amounting to P100 million upon his assumption as BOC head in 2016. /kga