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Faeldon files ethics complaint vs Trillanes

Former Bureau of Customs chief Nicanor Faeldon filed yesterday an ethics complaint against Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, whom Faeldon wants expelled for abuse of privilege and serious misconduct in waging attacks on his character. Geremy Pintolo, File

MANILA, Philippines — Former Bureau of Customs (BOC) chief Nicanor Faeldon filed yesterday an ethics complaint against Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, whom Faeldon wants expelled for abuse of privilege and serious misconduct in waging attacks on his character.

In a 14-page complaint, Faeldon cited three grounds in seeking Trillanes’ suspension or expulsion: engaging in improper and unethical conduct through scurrilous, consistent and personal attacks on the complainant’s person, character and professional reputation; abuse of right and privilege; and serious misconduct.

“It is high time that we stopped chasing the bully around the school yard. Let no one suffer anymore in silence. I will stand up to him, on my own behalf and on behalf of those he verbally raped, and whose characters he assassinated, just because he felt like it and worse, for the media mileage for his political agenda,” Faeldon said.

But the committee, chaired by Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III, decided to hold in abeyance any action on the complaints, including the one Faeldon earlier filed against Sen. Panfilo Lacson, because of Faeldon’s refusal to attend the hearings of the Senate Blue Ribbon committee.

Sotto said he would have wanted to immediately dismiss the complaints if not for the committee, which decided that holding their actions in abeyance would send a stronger message to individuals who intend to file cases against senators, teaching them to respect the Senate and its processes.

Minority Leader Franklin Drilon argued that Faeldon has no right to seek redress for grievance against any senator before the ethics committee if he does not even respect the processes of the Senate by refusing to appear before the Blue Ribbon committee hearings on corruption at the BOC.

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Trillanes vowed to face the ethics complaint squarely “because I believe that I did not do anything to warrant such a case.”

“I will also not allow it to divert the focus from the real issue, that the mastermind behind the P6.4-billion shabu shipment is Mr. Paolo Duterte,” he said.

As the Blue Ribbon committee, chaired by Sen. Richard Gordon, was conducting its 10th hearing at the session hall yesterday, Faeldon filed his complaint, escorted by guards. He wore a red t-shirt with the words “Truth is justice.”

“Most likely, you will again hide behind your cowardice and parliamentary immunity,” Faeldon said of Trillanes.

He has been detained at the Senate for over two weeks after refusing to attend the Blue Ribbon committee hearings which centered on the entry of P6.4 billion worth of drugs from China through the BOC and its alleged “tara” system.

In filing the complaint against Trillanes, he used the ruling of the Court of Appeals that cited the senator guilty of indirect contempt last year after accusing the appellate court justices of bribery.

Trillanes and Lacson earlier accused him of receiving tens of millions of pesos in bribes from smugglers and brokers to facilitate the release of their shipments when he headed the BOC.

Trillanes also claimed Faeldon allowed the so-called Davao group, supposedly led by presidential son and Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte, to engage in smuggling and drug trafficking activities through the BOC. 

Explaining the ethics committee decision to put on hold any action on Faeldon’s complaint, Drilon said Faeldon must first recognize the processes of the Senate.                

“It is in the Blue Ribbon committee that Faeldon can assert the falsity of the claims of Senator Lacson. He comes before this committee with unclean hands. He should first honor the Senate, appear before the Blue Ribbon committee, assert the falsity of Senator Lacson’s privilege speech and then come to us in the ethics committee,” he added.

If given his way he would rather have the former BOC chief remain detained at the Senate until the end of the 17th Congress if the latter continues to insist on his refusal to attend the Blue Ribbon committee hearings. – With Marvin Sy

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