By Charissa M. Luci-Atienza
The House committee on dangerous drugs is recommending the filing of criminal and/or administrative complaints against former Bureau of Customs (BOC) Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon and other BOC officials in connection with the P6.4 B shabu that was smuggled into the country.
The House panel, chaired by Surigao del Norte Rep. Robert Ace Barbers, said there is no stopping them from submitting the panel report for approval on Tuesday, August 29, recommending the filing of appropriate criminal and/or administrative complaints against Faeldon and several others.
He expects that by next week, the committee report will be endorsed for plenary discussions and approval.
He said after the plenary approves their report, it will be referred to the Office of the Ombudsman and the Department of Justice (DOJ) for the filing of administrative and criminal charges against the erring officials.
The panel recommended the filing of a complaint against Faeldon for violation of Section 3 of Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act and the investigation by the Office of the Ombudsman, according to Barbers.
Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson named BOC officials led by Faeldon and personnel who were allegedly involved in the “tara system.” Faeldon reportedly got P10,000 to P15,000 per container and received a “welcome pasalubong” of P100 million.
Barbers said they also recommended the filing of a complaint by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) against Atty. Dennis Siyhian and Atty. Catherine Nolasco, investigators of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Anti-Organized Transnational Crime Division.
Siyhian and Nolasco failed to turn over the custody of the 500 kilos of shabu to PDEA which was a violation of the Dangerous Drugs Board Regulation No. 1, Series of 2002, Custody and Disposition of Seized Dangerous Drugs, in relation to Section 32, RA 9165.
The committee report also included the filing by the Department of Justice (DOJ) of falsification, as defined and penalized under Article 172 of the Revised Penal Code, against Faeldon’s Chief-of-Staff Atty. Mandy Therese Anderson.
Anderson signed the Daily Time Records (DTRs) of the basketball and volleyball players hired by the BOC and made it appear that they reported for work as Technical Assistants and Counter Intelligence Analysts when they were actually hired to play for the BOC basketball and volleyball teams.
“I’m sure the members enjoin me in the conclusion that there is really a systemic, endemic, or whatever epidemic that is going on in the bureau. And this is the reason why the smuggling of goods, including shabu, was possible,” Barbers said.
As proposed by Deputy Speaker and Batangas Raneo Abu, the panel will exclude the name of BOC Deputy Commissioner Gerardo Gambala from the list of respondents in the absence of documents determining his liability.
Barbers said one of the panel’s recommendations is for the House Committee on Good Government and Public Accountability to look deeper into the “tara system” in the BOC.
“I-lifestyle mo yan, mula kay Commissioner Faeldon, hindi lamang ngayon ha. Syempre ngayon iba ang drama nya. Meron yang mga pinapakitang sasakyan na luma, bahay na luma,” he said.
The panel investigation stemmed from the filing of House Resolution Nos. 1054 and 1057, filed by Barbers and Valenzuela Rep. Wes Gatchalian on the the P6.4-billion shabu smuggling.
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