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Lacson on smuggling charge: When I make an exposé, I make sure I'm clean

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Panfilo Lacson on Thursday, August 24, denied the allegation of former Customs commissioner Nicanor Faeldon that his son is involved in smuggling.

Lacson said that if the allegation were true, he would not have made the exposé on corruption in the Bureau of Customs (BOC). (READ: Lacson names 'corrupt' Customs officials led by Faeldon)

"It doesn't make sense that I will expose the shenanigans in the BOC, if my son is cheating on taxes as Faeldon is now accusing him of. The logical thing for me to do is not to make the exposé and just keep quiet,” he said in a statement shortly after Faeldon made the allegation in a press conference in his home in Taytay, Rizal.

In a privilege speech on Wednesday, August 23, Lacson accused Faeldon and other BOC officials of accepting bribes, and named alleged bribe-givers and bagmen that faciliated the "tara" system or bribery at the agency. (READ: FULL TEXT: 'Kita kita sa Customs')

Lacson said instead of making the allegation against his son, Panfilo Lacson Jr, Faeldon "should have filed charges against my son if he now says, he's into smuggling," 

Faeldon claimed he discovered Lacson Jr's alleged involvement in corruption as early as July last year, when Lacson Jr's company, Bonjourno Trading, brought in shipments of cement amounting to P106 million and undervalued them by 50%.

The senator refuted this, saying there is no such thing as smuggling of cement because the item is not subject to tariff. He said upon checking with his son, he was told that Lacson Jr's company, Bonjourno Trading, would always pay the proper value-added tax on its shipments.

"There is no smuggling of cement as it is not subject to customs tariff and duties but only subject to VAT, which my son said when I checked with him just now, they always pay,” Lacson said.

Lacson said he was not involved in Bonjourno, as suggested by Faeldon who had suggested that Lacson Jr might just be the "dummy" of the real owner, his father.

"I have nothing to do with my son's business activities," he said,

Lacson also said that he had always told his won to be an upright businessman for it now, he would be the firt to report him to authorities.

“For the record, I have always reminded my son to be on the level in whatever business dealings he would have because if not, I'll be the first one to castigate him and even initiate filing of charges against him,” he said. – Rappler.com 

 

 

Camille Elemia

Camille Elemia is Rappler's lead reporter for media, disinformation, 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

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