Customs head consistent on bribe list, says Lacson
SENATOR Panfilo Lacson said Sunday that officials at the Bureau of Customs have been providing him names of officials receiving bribes and that Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon is consistently in the lists given him.
Lacson also told radio dzBB that he had the names of bagmen and the amounts being received by Customs officials.
Even “players” outside the bureau have been giving him information on the “tara” system in which importers pay bribes for each container van that goes through Customs, Lacson said.
“With a little bit of exaggeration, it looks like Nic Faeldon is the only one who is not giving me a list,” he said in Filipino.
Lacson said that he might reveal the information in a privilege speech on Wednesday but said the list would have to be carefully vetted.
Hearings before the Senate Blue Ribbon committee revealed that P6.4 billion worth of shabu had slipped past Customs in May only to be found in a warehouse in Valenzuela City.
The House is holding its own inquiry into the drug shipment.
A businessman who is being accused of being the middleman in the drug shipment denied the allegations, saying he was set up by a friend.
Kenneth Dong’s lawyers said that their client is not involved in any illegal drug activities and is a legitimate businessman.
“To show that he has a clear conscience, he immediately cut his business trip from Singapore and China and went back to the country after his name was dragged into the controversial shipment,” his lawyer, Carla Frias, said.
Frias also said Dong did not know Richard Chen personally and admitted that he only knew Manny Li and Mark Taguba.
“Our client also would like to [make it] clear that Manny Li only introduced him to Chen who owns the Hong Fei forwarding company in the Philippines and China and insisted that he did not know him before,” the lawyer said.
“Dong would like to reiterate that there is not true that he is the middleman of the shipment seized by customs and he is not involved in the drug shipment,” Frias added.