Gordon, Faeldon set off Senate’s BoC corruption hearing in verbal brawl
A combatant former Customs Chief Nicanor Faeldon has traded barbs with Senator Richard Gordon, whom he accused of “monologue-ing” at the resumption of the Senate investigation on the alleged corruption at the Bureau of Customs (BoC).
At the start of the hearing on Monday, Gordon welcomed Faeldon’s decision to face the committee as he stressed the need to respect the inquiries being conducted by the Senate.
Faeldon has been repeatedly refusing to face the Senate panel’s investigation, and only finally decided to attend on Monday.
“Hindi ko masasabing natutuwa dahil ayokong nilalaspatangan ang Senado pero mabuti at dumating ngayon si Mr. Faeldon at humarap ngayon dito. At kahit na marami syang sinasabi sa mga senador lalo na sa akin at kay Sen. Lacson, ay gusto kong sabihin sa kanya parehas kami dito,” Gordon said.
“At kung kayo ma’y alinlangan pwede kayong pumunta dito sa Senado at mag file ng ethics, o mag-demanda kayo kung kayo ay may kaso na kelangang gawin ninyo. Pero hindi nyo pwede kaming tanggihan at kami ay papatulan namin kayo,” he added.
Gordon then noted that the Senate has allowed Faeldon, who has been in detention at the Senate since September 2017, to receive visitors and even hold parties. Faeldon was arrested and detained at the Senate due to his refusal to participate in the on-going investigation of the Senate blue ribbon committee chaired by Gordon.
“Ikaw ay pinayagan na magkaroon ng mga party sa baba. Dumating ang iyong ama at iyong mga kamag-anak. Ikaw ay pinayagan namin na magbisita ang iyong mga kaibigan, mga abugado…” he said.
“Nagkaroon pa kayo ng family gatherings inside the Senate,” he also said.
But when Gordon later asked if he agreed with all his statements, Faeldon said: “I don’t agree with the rest.”
“My father has long been dead. I never had a party with my father dito sa Senate. I never had party with anybody,” the ex-BoC official said.
Faeldon later corrected himself, saying they had a Christmas dinner but it was not a party.
“It’s a family gathering,” Gordon said.
“You’re exaggerating, Your Honor,” Faeldon answered.
“Don’t tell me I’m exaggerating!” an irate Gordon shot back.
Faeldon said he did not attend the hearing to be freed from detention but to ferret out the truth about the corruption allegations at the BoC.
He also denied that he has been deliberately avoiding the investigation but he lamented how Gordon had been manipulating the proceeding.
“You’re already monologue-ing and lecturing. This is the reason why I don’t want to attend here because you’re not interested about the truth,” Faeldon said.
At some point, Gordon asked the Senate Sergeant At Arms to “be ready to take this man.”
“I’m ready your, honor” Faeldon said. /kga
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