Tuesday, March 13, 2018
[caption id="attachment_140005" align="aligncenter" width="960"] Sen. Richard Gordon holds the release paper for former Customs commissioner Nicanor Faeldon (3rd from left) at the Senate on Monday, March 12. PHOTO COURTESY OF GMA NEWS[/caption]
MANILA – The Senate ordered on Monday the release of former Bureau of Customs commissioner Nicanor Faeldon from detention.
Faeldon was cited in contempt in September last year for refusing to attend a Senate inquiry into a P6.4-billion shabu shipment from China.
First detained at the Senate, Faeldon was transferred to the Pasay City Jail after an argument with Sen. Richard Gordon, chairman of the Blue Ribbon Committee holding the inquiry, on Jan. 29.
Faledon, now Office of Civil Defense deputy administrator, attended the resumption of the inquiry on Monday and committed to cooperate in the succeeding hearings.
Gordon signed the Order of Release of Faeldon. He said he will allow Faeldon’s release “if and when he cleanses himself of his contumacious conduct, testify truthfully, and not improperly invoke his right against self-incrimination.”
“We will call you on your cognizance, that when we ask you a question, there will be no more back-talking, and you will answer the questions directly,” Gordon told Faeldon. “Yes, your honor,” the latter replied.
Gordon warned Faeldon that he could again be cited in contempt for any future misbehavior at the inquiry.
Faeldon and several other Customs officials and importers were under fire for the shabu smuggling in May last year.
Gordon said the “brouhaha” over Faeldon “could have been avoided” if only the latter was cooperating well.
“I already advised him before, all he has to do is answer and he will get a fair shake from the chairman,” said Gordon.
“I give that assurance again. The chair only plays ball in a manner when the committee is respected. Once the committee is disrespected, I will play hard ball,” he added. (With a report from Philippine News Agency/PN)