FORMER Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon will not request the Senate to release him from its custody even after the Department of Justice had cleared him of wrongdoing in connection with the P6.4-billion “shabu” shipment from China, his lawyer said Thursday.
Jose Dino said Faeldon felt vindicated by the DoJ ruling but would not ask the Senate for his release to send a message to the public that “nobody has to be investigated in aid of persecution and of one senator, in aid of obsession.”
“We have not asked the Senate, specifically the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, nor will we ever request it to release captain Faeldon despite the vindication that we received based on news reports that the DoJ has absolved us from any liabilities,” Dino said in a phone interview.
Senator Panfilo Lacson on Thursday said many of those who participated and witnessed the congressional hearings on the P6.4-billion shabu smuggling case were shocked and angered by the dismissal of the charges against
Customs personnel, including Faeldon.
Senator Richard Gordon, head of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, which conducted the Senate investigation of the shabu shipment facilitated through Customs, said he partly disagreed with the findings of the Department of Justice.
“There is yet no final evidence to establish that Customs personnel are not in any way liable for the importation of drugs and on its entry into the green lane. Further investigation must be made to determine their liability,” he said.
Malacañang on Thursday said the reappointment of two Customs officials accused of accepting bribes likely meant they were innocent of the allegations against them.
The other day, Malacañang released the appointment papers of Ariel Nepomuceno and Teddy Raval as customs deputy commissioners.
Both are included in Lacson’s list of Customs executives who supposedly took bribes.
Faeldon was detained in the Senate after he was cited for contempt by the Blue Ribbon Committee for refusing to answer questions from Lacson and Sentor Antonio Trillanes IV during a public hearing.
Faeldon has filed an ethics complaint against the two senators for allegedly harassing him and abusing their authority as lawmakers.
Dino said their camp believed Faeldon was just being subjected to “lies and vilification” and that his continuous Senate detention was but a “small price to pay” to stress his message.
“He’s doing well. He is still in a very good fighting form,” Dino said.