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Faeldon questions accuser's knowledge of P6.4-B shabu shipment

In this Sept. 8, 2017 photo, former Customs chief Nicanor Faeldon ushers reporters to his home where he would hold a news conference over accusations against him for his supposed involvement in the entrance of P6.4 billion worth of illegal drugs. STAR/Michael Varcas

MANILA, Philippines — Former Customs chief Nicanor Faeldon accused his complainant in multiple cases of lacking personal knowledge over the P6.4 billion shabu shipment that slipped past the Bureau of Customs.

The motion of Faeldon, who is facing drug, graft and obstruction raps by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, was dismissed by the Department of Justice, whose jurisdiction over the cases he questioned.

Describing the allegations against him as "hallucinations," Faeldon challenged the what PDEA Seaport Interdiction Unit chief Norman Balquiedra, the complainant in the case, knows about the illegal transactions.

"His allegations, being mere imaginations or worse hallucinations, are wholly insufficient to sustain the view of herein respondent's culpability, even remotely or indirectly, as his imaginations cannot be considered as proceeding from his personal knowledge, as this Balquiedra failed to, basically allege that he was present at the time of the above alleged incidents," Faeldon's counter-affidavit reads.

Faeldon also denied knowing Balquiedra. He also pointed out: "There has been no allegation, much less an affidavit, from any Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, National Bureau of Investigation or Bureau of Customs officer or employee, that I ordered them to cease or desist from apprehending any suspect, and/or from investigating and prosecuting criminal cases from against one some or all of the drug-smugglers."

He told the DOJ that there is "absolute absence of any evidence" to prosecute him.

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DOJ, trial court to handle drug cases

The state prosecutors also dismissed Faeldon's earlier filed motion to dismiss that challenged the DOJ's jurisdiction on the case.

In a four-page resolution dated October 12 but was released only today, the DOJ held that, under Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 "confers exclusive jurisdiction to the Regional Trial Court over drug case."

"Likewise, certain provisions of RA No. 9165 indicate that the Regional Trial Court has jurisdiction regardless of the position of the offender public officer," the motion penned by the three-man panel of prosecutor reads.

This is backed by the Supreme Court ruling, dated October 10, on the case of detained Sen. Leila De Lima that stated: "Notably, no other trial court was mentioned in RA 9165 as having the authority to take cognizance of drug-related case."

READ: SC: RTCs have jurisdiction on drug cases

The DOJ added that Faeldon is not allowed to file a motion to dismiss in lieu of a counter-affidavit, as held by Section 3 Rule 112 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure.

Faeldon is also accused of receiving more than P100 million in pasalubong from smugglers and businessmen by his customs chief predecessor Isidro Lapeña. This was also revealed by Sen. Panfilo Lacson.

The senate also held nine hearings into the said shipment and corruption in the BOC in the past several months.

Other tagged personalities in the Senate probe are Presidential son Davao Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte and son-in-law Mans Carpio. No complaint has yet been filed against the two presidential kin.

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