Faeldon out, Lapeña to head Customs

MANILA, Philippines – After the smuggling of billions of pesos worth of shabu from China, President Rodrigo Duterte accepted the resignation of Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon.

To take Faeldon's place, Duterte is appointing Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Director General Isidro Lapeña to head the Bureau of Customs (BOC).

The President said this during an interview with media on Monday, August 21, at the Malacañang Golf Club.

Lapeña's post at PDEA will be given to the Central Luzon police head, Chief Superintendent Aaron Aquino. Aquino, who graduated from the Philippine Military Academy in 1985, was assigned to Davao City, where he first met Duterte.

Duterte, however, said he continues to believe in Faeldon.

"He is an honest man, some people just got past him," said the President. He also said he is open to assigning Faeldon to another government post.

He said Lapeña has his "trust and confidence."

Faeldon, according to Duterte, had asked to be fired thrice before because of his failure to rid his agency of corruption – part of Duterte's marching orders.

Despite Faeldon's self-admitted failure, the President had previously insisted his appointee is among the bureau's honest officials.

He described Faeldon as an "honest" man who was simply overwhelmed by the level of corruption in the BOC. – 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.