‘Special stop orders’ under Faeldon used for ‘doble tara’ – Lacson

Camille Elemia
‘Special stop orders’ under Faeldon used for ‘doble tara’ – Lacson


Senator Panfilo Lacson says the scheme is among the 'mysteries' under former Customs chief Faeldon's administration

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Panfilo Lacson questioned the issuance of “special stop orders” during the stint of former Bureau of Customs (BOC) commissioner Nicanor Faeldon and called the scheme “doble tara.”

Lacson said the Office of the Commissioner would issue special stop orders on shipments even if they already paid the usual “tara” or bribe money. Lacson said the scheme is among the “mysteries” under Faeldon’s administration.

“’Yun yung tinatawag ko na doble tara ng doble kara. Nag-tara na, napunta sa green lane, pinrocess na. Tatarahan pa ulit sa pamamagitan ng special stop orders,” Lacson said on Monday, September 25, during the Senate blue ribbon hearing.

(That’s what I called doble tara. You already paid tara, went to the green lane, and was already processed but you will be imposed new tara through special stop orders.)

“Ang pinakamapanganib ay ang tanga na nagdudunung-dunungan at corrupt na naglilinis-linisan,” Lacson said during the hearing. (The most dangerous thing is a stupid person thinking he’s smart and a corrupt who acts like he’s clean.)

Liza Sebastian, collector at the Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service, said only the Office of the Commissioner, upon recommendation of alerting units, could issue such orders.

These orders are meant to “prevent the release of shipments even after taxes have been paid,” said Sebastian.

During the hearing, Lacson revealed that a certain Mike Sabban recommended the issuance of special stop orders to Integrisy Trading, one of the companies used by Customs broker and “fixer” Mark Taguba. Sabban is a “technical consultant” in Faeldon’s office.

In previous hearings, Taguba said Sabban placed his shipments on alert after having a feud with his father, Ruben.

Taguba said the incident prompted him to look for other backers, leading to her transactions with the so-called “Tita Nanie,” a member of the so-called Davao Group.

Presidential son and Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte is allegedly part of the group.

During the hearing, Taguba presented text messages to prove that tara exists in the agency. 

In one message sent by Tita Nanie, it was shown that the Office of the Commissioner asked for an additional P10,000 for the “voluntary upgrade” to solve the issue. This is on top of the previously set amount of P40,000. 

Faeldon has strongly denied accusations he is involved in corruption in the agency. He has filed separate ethics complaint against Senators Panfilo Lacson and Antonio Trillanes IV for implicating him in bribery and smuggling.

He, however, has strongly evaded the Senate investigation and said he would rather be detained than answer senators’ questions. 

“I never denied that there is tara but to say I’m part of it, that’s really bullshit,” Faeldon said on Monday.

In response, Lacson said: “Eh bullshit din siya. Siya nga ang nasa center ng tara eh.” (He’s also bullshit. He’s at the center of the issue on tara.)

Lacson said he is set to file graft and economic sabotage charges against Faeldon on Thursday, September 28. – Rappler.com

Add a comment

Sort by

There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.


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