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Duterte appoints Nicanor Faeldon to Office of Civil Defense

Christina Mendez - The Philippine Star
Duterte appoints Nicanor Faeldon to Office of Civil Defense

Malacañang announced yesterday President Duterte’s appointment of Faeldon as deputy administrator III of the Office of the Civil Defense of the DND. The appointment came some four months after the latter gave up his BOC post. File

MANILA, Philippines — In detention for snubbing a Senate probe on the smuggling of P6.4 billion worth of shabu, resigned Bureau of Customs chief Nicanor Faeldon has a new job waiting for him at the Department of National Defense (DND).

Malacañang announced yesterday President Duterte’s appointment of Faeldon as deputy administrator III of the Office of the Civil Defense of the DND. The appointment came some four months after the latter gave up his BOC post.

It was not clear if he would be released from Senate detention, but Sen. Panfilo Lacson stressed the President could not dictate on senators to release the former BOC chief just as they could not stop the President from making such appointment.

Faeldon resigned as BOC chief in August at the height of a controversy over the entry from China of some P6.4 billion worth of shabu through the BOC. Lacson earlier sued Faeldon for economic sabotage before the Office of the Ombudsman.

The Senate Blue Ribbon committee chaired by Sen. Richard Gordon launched an investigation into the shabu smuggling but failed to make Faeldon attend any of its hearings. In refusing to show up before the committee, Faeldon cited the “partiality of some of its members who have lied to malign (him) and other innocent resource persons.”

Lacson said Faeldon – in his new job with the OCD – may discharge his duties from his detention room at the Senate.

Since Faeldon has not been convicted of any crime yet, he is not barred from assuming an appointive or even an elective position, according to Lacson.

“Certainly, the President has the authority to exercise his prerogative to appoint him. However, the Senate cannot also be dictated upon to release Faeldon from custody,” Lacson said.

“So, while he can assume his new post at the OCD, he may have to function from the Senate detention facility via remote control, unless his contempt citation is lifted by the Senate acting as a collegial body,” he pointed out.

Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian said he respects Duterte’s decision but the latter should consider the fact that Faeldon had been “absolutely ineffective” at the BOC.

Gatchalian said Faeldon “was primarily responsible for the lack of systems in deterring illegal drugs from coming through the ports of our own customs.”

Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, a critic of the Duterte administration, said the President could not afford to antagonize the former BOC head.

“Faeldon knows the dark secrets of the Duterte family that’s why, even if he is grossly incompetent, he remains a sacred cow,” Trillanes said.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said the OCD welcomes Faeldon, but he stressed the DND did not request for Faeldon’s appointment.

“The OCD post has been vacant and OCD administrator Ricardo Jalad was hunting for a replacement. We did not request for Nick Faeldon, nevertheless we welcome him with open arms,” Lorenzana said.

Faeldon will take over the post vacated by Rodolfo Demosthenes Santillan.

Lorenzana described Faeldon as an honest, dedicated and competent man.

Duterte’s latest appointments include Giovannie Zinampan Lopez as assistant secretary of the Department of Transportation; Joseph Guevarra, assistant solicitor general vice Nyriam Susan Hernandez; Peñafrancia Devesa as assistant solicitor general vice Luis Simon; Alexander Salvador, assistant solicitor general; Margaret Padilla, assistant secretary of the Department of Justice and Raymundo Ferrer, member of the board of directors of the Food Terminal Inc.

Duterte also appointed Michael Ong as deputy executive secretary for general administration under the Office of the President, while Ryan Alvin Acosta was designated as deputy executive secretary for legal affairs. – Paolo Romero, Jaime Laude

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