By Betheena Kae Unite
Outgoing Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon neither denied nor admitted that he was being offered another government position by President Duterte.
All Faeldon said was he needs to “take a rest” which the President agreed saying he should “take some time off.”
“I need to rest… I need my freedom from the time being. I need my freedom,” Faeldon said in an interview over CNN Philippines early Monday.
He said he needs to rest after suffering a heart attack.
On holding another government position, Faeldon said he is always ready to serve the country but did not admit whether he was already offered one.
“Sa ‘kin naman (For me), government position is for everyone dapat hindi ito exclusive kung kani-kanino lang (it should not be exclusive for anybody). It’s really a question of whether you’re there to serve the country or not but I always want to serve the country whether in the government or private sector,” Faeldon said during the same interview.
He also refused to disclose what he and the President discussed following his press conference near his home in Taytay, Rizal last week.
The former commissioner also disclosed that he has been appealing to his colleagues in the Bureau of Customs (BOC) to stay and help the next commissioner in its anti-smuggling and corruption campaign.
“I have been appealing (to) them to stay because Commissioner Sid Lapeña needs people who can really help this country. Kung mawala ‘yan (If they leave) he has to build his group again. It’s going to be another year of building people that would really work for the bureau. Sana maiwan na lang sila (I hope they stay),” Faeldon said.
Aside from Faeldon, former Customs Import Assesment Director Milo Maestrecampo and former Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service Director Neil Estrella have already stepped down from their posts amid the P6.4-billion drug mess.
Faeldon despite giving up his post believes that he did not fail as the Customs commissioner.
“No because figures won’t lie. We have all the figures to back this up. If they said we failed then check the figures,” he said.
According to Faeldon, in the last six years the bureau was able to uncover P51 million in tobacco while during his term, the bureau was able to seized P6 billion in just one cigarette fraud.
Seized illegal drugs, on the other hand, tallied for P8 billion in the last six years but the bureau under Faeldon was able to seized the same drug haul in one year, he said.
However, he said his biggest failure as the BOC commissioner is “having the lack of the full control of everyone [in the bureau].”
He also aired laments over the 117-year-old corruption in the bureau.
“I wonder why in 117 years, they failed to, again I am asking you senators, Congressmen, why did you fail to support the requirements of the bureau?” he said.
“You all know that we only have a capacity of 16 percent in subjecting these containers in x-ray (inspection)… And you blame me, come on it’s your job to make sure that agencies have the capability to do their job,” Faeldon added.
Tags: anti-smuggling, Bureau of Customs, CNN Philippines, Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon, Congress, Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service, Faeldon says he need to ‘take a rest’ but clams up on another gov’t post, illegal drugs
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