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Faeldon: I'd rather go to jail than attend the Senate hearing

Former Bureau of Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon is willing to be jailed than face another congressional inquiry. STAR/Michael Varcas, file

MANILA, Philippines — Former Bureau of Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon said he would not attend any congressional hearings, which he accused of destroying innocent people.

Faeldon questioned the immunity of the lawmakers conducting the probe into anomalies at the Customs, claiming that they are just using their position for their own benefits.

He claimed that many resource persons, including him, are victims of grandstanding as he stressed that there should be limitations on the immunity of the elected officials.

READ: Lacson bares Customs 'tara' list

"I already questioned the constitutionality of some of their conduct. We have guaranteed rights, some of the victims have been maligned, destroyed. These are innocent people bahala na lang kami na ibangon ang aming pagkatao na sinira nila," Faeldon told ANC's "Hot Copy" on Friday.

"I would like to question this because we’re supposed to be resource persons and the presumption of our innocence is guaranteed under the Constitution, the Bill of Rights. Pwede ba nilang yurakan yan? Sisiraan nila yun?" he added.

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The resigned Customs commissioner is willing to be detained than face another congressional inquiry which he attended prior to the privilege speech of Sen. Panfilo Lacson who accused him of receiving P100 million as a "welcome gift."

Lacson also claimed that Faeldon knew about the "tara" system and that the former Customs chief was already eaten by the scheme of corruption.

READ: Lacson to Duterte: What’s with Faeldon?

"Yes, they can (cite in contempt) that is their prerogative. I'd rather go to jail than going there without these issues of how far they can go, how far they can just neglect the basic human rights entitled to every citizens of this country," Faeldon said, adding that he has yet to receive a copy of the subpoena.

The Senate Blue Ribbon Committee is conducting a probe into the P6.4 billion shabu shipment from China which went through the Customs' green lane.

Faeldon, at one point, during the hearing became emotional after he was asked by Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV if there is corruption in his office. After insisting that he would not answer the question, he later admitted that there is widespread corruption which he could not control.

Despite the allegations by Lacson and other lawmakers, Faeldon is still enjoying the trust of President Rodrigo Duterte who advised him to rest and get married.

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