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Faeldon wants PDEA complaint dropped for lack of jurisdiction

Former Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon questioned the Justice department's authority over his case. File photo

MANILA, Philippines — Former Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon on Thursday urged the Justice department to dismiss a Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency complaint against him for supposed lack of jurisdiction.

Faeldon, in a motion through counsel, questioned the Justice department's authority over his case.

“It is the office of the Ombudsman and not this DOJ (Department of Justice) Investigating Panel, which has jurisdiction to investigate all offenses and felonies involving Mr. Faeldon, who was a Salary Grade 30 public offer, or involving those offenses or felonies allegedly committed by him in relation to his office,” the motion read.

In his plea, Faeldon’s camp cited the Supreme Court resolution in Lacson vs. the Executive Secretary on Jan. 20,1999, where the high court clarified the exclusive jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan anti-graft court. In that decision, the Supreme Court decided the Quezon City Regional Trial Court had jurisdiction over murder cases filed against Philippine National Police officers who were below Salary Grade 27. The court also said the alleged murders  were not "intimately connected with the discharge of official functions" as police officers. 

The Office of the Ombudsman files cases at the Sandiganbayan.

Faeldon attended the DOJ’s preliminary probe to shed light into the criminal charges filed against him by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency in connection with the P6.4 billion worth of shabu smuggled into the country.

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The resigned Customs commissioner is currently detained at the Senate after being cited for contempt for his refusal to attend the public hearings conducted by the blue ribbon committee. He was allowed to attend the DOJ’s preliminary investigation.

READ: Gordon: Faeldon chose Senate detention

PDEA filed charges against Faeldon and 11 other officers of the BOC for alleged conspiracy to import illegal drugs and protecting or coddling of drug traffickers under RA 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.

The drug enforcement agency added that Faeldon and other customs officials committed obstruction of justice under Presidential Decree No. 1829 by “harboring or concealing, or facilitating the escape” of the persons behind the shabu shipment.

RELATED: DOJ summons Faeldon over P6.4-B smuggled shabu

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