MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Bureau of Customs (BOC) chief Nicanor Faeldon continues to enjoy the trust of President Rodrigo Duterte.
During their meeting in Malacañang on Tuesday, August 1, Duterte expressed confidence in Faeldon, despite the entry of P6.4-billion worth of shabu from China, a controversy now subject to congressional hearings.
"The Chief Executive reiterated his trust and confidence in Customs Commissioner Faeldon and asked him to focus on his job of serving the nation in his capacity as head of Customs," said Malacañang in a statement sent on Wednesday, August 2.
Also present at the meeting were Finance Secretary Sonny Dominguez and Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea. The BOC is under the Department of Finance.
In the two days before his meeting with the President, Faeldon defended his agency during congressional hearings on the smuggled shabu.
Senators had questioned how the 604 kilograms of shabu could have made it through the BOC's express lane without customs personnel helping the drug traffickers.
Corruption among customs personnel is a senstitive issue for the President who has vowed to fire any appointee if he gets so much as a "whiff of corruption."
Duterte previously identified the BOC as one of the most corrupt government agencies, as well as the Bureau of Internal Revenue.
A week after taking his oath as President, Duterte gave marching orders to Faeldon to rid the BOC of abusive personnel.
“I hope Faeldon would do his thing, stop corruption in customs," he had said in July 2016. – Rappler.com
Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at email@example.com.