Duterte: Faeldon asked to be fired thrice

Pia Ranada

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Duterte: Faeldon asked to be fired thrice

King Rodriguez

'He is honest. Nalusutan lang siya kasi lahat sa Customs corrupt,' President Rodrigo Duterte says of Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte revealed on Thursday, August 17, that Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon had asked to be fired thrice because of his failure to rid his agency of corruption.

“Faeldon has written me thrice asking me to relieve him. He said, ‘I did not fulfill my promise to you,’ and he was right,” Duterte said on Thursday, while speaking to police in Ozamiz City.

Duterte recalled Faeldon telling him, “Hindi ko na-control, hindi ko talaga kaya (I can’t control it, I really can’t).”

The Bureau of Customs (BOC) chief has told media in the past that he wanted to quit because of the extent of corruption in the agency. Duterte had given him marching orders to cleanse the BOC. 

Despite Faeldon’s self-admitted failure, Duterte insisted his appointee is among the bureau’s honest officials.

“But Faeldon is not the one, he is not that kind of person. I’m not defending him,” said the President.

The other day, in a speech in Malacañang, Duterte called Faeldon an “honest” man who was simply overwhelmed by the level of corruption in the BOC.

“I stand by Faeldon. He is honest. Nalusutan lang siya kasi lahat sa Customs corrupt (Some people got past him because everyone in Customs is corrupt),” said the President.

Lawmakers have slammed Faeldon in Congress hearings for the P6.4 billion worth of shabu from China that got past BOC personnel.

Due to health issues, first a “dental emergency” and then a heart attack, Faeldon missed two legislative hearings.

Prior to these two hearings, Duterte summoned Faeldon to Malacañang for a meeting. Afterwards, Malacañang said the President continues to have confidence in Faeldon.

Duterte had said he will wait for the Congress investigation to conclude before deciding on Faeldon’s fate.

At a Senate hearing last Tuesday, August 15, Faeldon explained that he was unable to fight corruption in the bureau early on as he was “all alone” in the BOC, and he had to wait for his recommended officials to assume office to begin the investigation. – Rappler.com

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Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada is Rappler’s Community Lead, in charge of linking our journalism with communities for impact.