ON the heels of an expose by Senator Panfilo M. Lacson last Wednesday, Aug. 23, and subsequent countercharges by resigned Bureau of Customs Commissioner Nicanor E. Faeldon, the ongoing investigation on illegal drugs by the Senate Blue-Ribbon Committee will still focus on its primary agenda: How P6.4 billion worth of shabu were shipped into the country.
In a telephone interview on Monday, Senator and committee chairman Richard J. Gordon said it is only when Mr. Lacson refers corruption allegations against Mr. Faeldon to a committee that a formal investigation can begin.
In his privileged speech last week, Mr. Lacson enumerated a list of Customs officials receiving bribe money, allegedly led by Mr. Faeldon himself.
Mr. Gordon said Mr. Faeldon is welcome to clear his name during the Blue Ribbon investigation. He also added that since President Rodrigo R. Duterte has restated his trust in the outgoing BoC commissioner, it is up to Mr. Faeldon to prove that he is worthy of that trust.
As for Mr. Faeldon’s accusations of Mr. Lacson’s son, Panfilo “Pampi” Lacson, Jr., smuggling cement, Mr. Gordon said that the statements that the former commissioner made were not under oath.
Mr. Gordon said the committee is already reviewing its preliminary report but is looking at yet another hearing to wrap up the investigation.
The committee has so far conducted four hearings on the shabu shipment. — Mario M. Banzon
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