Faeldon files ethics complaint vs Trillanes

Camille Elemia
Faeldon files ethics complaint vs Trillanes
(UPDATED) This is the second ethics complaint filed against a senator by the former Customs commissioner, who has strongly refused to face a Senate investigation into drug smuggling and BOC corruption

MANILA, Philippines (4th UPDATE) – Former Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon filed an ethics complaint against his former friend Senator Antonio Trillanes IV over the latter’s accusations he is involved in corruption.

Faeldon briefly went out of his Senate detention, as approved by the Senate blue ribbon committee, and filed his complaint before the committee on ethics and privileges on Monday, September 25.

Faeldon asked the Senate panel to suspend Trillanes “at the very least” or expel him from office.

The former BOC chief cited 3 grounds: Trillanes’ improper and unethical conduct through scurrilous, consistent, and personal attacks, the senator’s abuse of rights and privilege, and his alleged serious misconduct.

Trillanes earlier said Faeldon is “at the heart” of the controversy involving the P6.4-billion worth of smuggled shabu.

The senator also alleged that the former Customs chief knows about the smuggling activities of the so-called Davao Group, supposedly led by presidential son and Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte.

“It’s very easy for him to lie. No one’s really taking him seriously as far as his allegations against a lot of people are concerned. He’s proven that already. You cannot just blurt out lies,” Faeldon told reporters after the filing.

Trillanes, meanwhile, said he will face the complaint “squarely.”

“I believe that I did not do anything to warrant such a case. I will also not allow it to divert the focus from the real issue, that the mastermind behind the P6.4-B shabu shipment is Mr. Paolo Duterte,” he said in a statement to media.

The two were among the 321 armed soldiers who staged the 2003 Oakwood mutiny against what they called corruption under the administration of president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

This is the second ethics complaint lodged by Faeldon against a siting senator. 

Just last week, Faeldon filed an ethics complaint against Senator Panfilo Lacson for the senator’s privilege speech implicating him in the “tara” system in the agency. Lacson is the vice chair of the panel but has inhibited himself from the proceedings.

Since the privilege speech, the former Customs chief had refused to attend the Senate investigation, prompting the Senate blue ribbon committee to cite him in contempt.

Despite being subpoenaed, Faeldon insisted he would not attend the probe. He then turned himself in to the Senate Sergeant-at-Arms for detention, saying he prefers that to facing “unfair” senators.

To date, he has yet to answer questions on how the 604 kilos of shabu from China were able to slip past Customs under his administration. – Rappler.com

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Camille Elemia

Camille Elemia is Rappler's lead reporter for media, disinformation issues, and democracy. She won an ILO award in 2017. She received the prestigious Fulbright-Hubert Humphrey fellowship in 2019, allowing her to further study media and politics in the US. Email camille.elemia@rappler.com