Gordon orders release of Faeldon from detention

Camille Elemia
Gordon orders release of Faeldon from detention
(UPDATED) Senate blue ribbon committee chair Richard Gordon orders the release of Nicanor Faeldon, who was earlier cited in contempt for disrespecting the Senate

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Senate blue ribbon committee chair Richard Gordon ordered the release of former Customs commissioner Nicanor Faeldon from detention.

Before ordering the release, Gordon did not ask Faeldon any questions on the latter’s alleged involvement in the corruption inside the Bureau of Customs (BOC). Faeldon has yet to answer allegations against him.

The senator, who has a habit of raising his voice at resource persons, talked to Faeldon softly on Monday, March 12, during the continuation of the hearing on the “tara” system.

Gordon even teased Faeldon to “smile” as he looks better when he does so: “Ganyan dapat nakatawa ka. You look much better when you smile.”

“So, we will call you on your cognizance that when we ask you a question, there will be no more backtalking and you will answer the question directly.”

Faeldon responded in the affirmative and said he commits to that.

“Alright, so the committee chair hereby orders your release from incarceration,” Gordon said.

“You’re hereby relased subject to the fact that you will conduct yourself as we go on the hearings when we need to. Is that understood?” he added.

Faeldon was detained at the Pasay City jail after the Senate cited him in contempt for repeatedly skipping Senate hearings on the issue.

Senator Antonio Trillanes IV earlier said Faeldon is “at the heart” of the P6.4-billion worth of smuggled shabu from China while Senator Panfilo Lacson said Faeldon is among the officials receiving “tara” or bribe money.

Faeldon has denied the allegations and, in turn, accused Lacson’s son, Panfilo “Pampi” Lacson Jr, of cement smuggling.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) earlier cleared Faeldon from the drug smuggling case, saying Faeldon and other customs officials will not be charged.

Faeldon was removed from the BOC but was appointed deputy administrator of the Office of the Civil Defense– 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