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Duterte says Faeldon wants to run for Mindoro governor

MANILA, Philippines – Former customs chief Nicanor Faeldon wants to run for Mindoro governor in 2019, announced President Rodrigo Duterte himself on Monday, September 17.

Speaking in the middle of a situation briefing on the affects of Typhoon Ompong on Benguet province, Duterte bared his appointee's supposed plans, apparently without telling Faeldon beforehand.

"Nick Faeldon has expressed his desire to run for governor. Mindoro? Governor Faeldon? Do not be shy. We will talk about it," said Duterte.

Later on, he teased Faeldon, who was also in the briefing as deputy administrator of the Office of Civil Defense.

"Si Nick hindi tumatawa eh. Tumawa ka na, nasabi ko na eh (Nick is not laughing. Just laugh, I told everyone already.)," said Duterte.

Duterte had also floated Department of the Interior and Local Government Officer-in-Charge Educardo Año and Philippine National Police chief Director-General Oscar Albayalde as possible senatorial candidates.

"Si Senator Albayalde pang 22 ito, pati si Año (Senator Albayalde is for 22, also Año)," said the President.

It's not clear if by "22" Duterte meant 2022 elections or the 22nd slot in a slate of 24.

'Vote military personnel into Senate'

In the same briefing, Duterte advised Filipinos to vote military men into the Senate.

"If you want an advice, have some military men in this year. I don’t know with legislation but in terms of work, I'd rather choose a military man," said the President.

Faeldon was formerly a Marine captain.

Last September 12, Faeldon took his oath as member of Duterte's political party, along with Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) Director Ronald dela Rosa and actor Phillip Salvador.

But Faeldon said then that he only joined the ruling party to support its campaign for federalism.

Back when he was Bureau of Customs chief, Faeldon's name reached headlines when P6.4-billion worth of shabu got past authorities. The Department of Justice dismissed charges against Faeldon and other customs officials citing "lack of probable cause." 

Senators had slammed the decision saying it was impossible for such a large shipment to enter the Philippines undetected without the collusion of customs officials. – Rappler.com

Pia Ranada

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 pia.ranada@rappler.com.

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