Ombudsman panel seeks charges vs Faeldon, others over P6.4-B smuggled shabu
Former Bureau of Customs chief Nicanor Faeldon tendered his resignation three times before President Rodrigo Duterte accepted it. He has since been reappointed to the Office of the Civil Defense.
Geremy Pintolo

Ombudsman panel seeks charges vs Faeldon, others over P6.4-B smuggled shabu

Kristine Joy Patag ( - May 2, 2018 - 4:38pm

MANILA, Philippines — The Office of the Ombudsman has recommended the filing of graft and administrative charges against Office of Civil Defense deputy administrator Nicanor Faeldon, over the P6.4-billion shabu shipment that slipped past the bureau in 2017.

Faeldon was the Bureau of Customs commissioner from July 1, 2016 until his resignation in August 2017. Four months later, President Rodrigo Duterte appointed Faeldon to the Office of Civil Defense. The former Customs chief was detained at the Senate for contempt at the time.

In a statement, the Ombudsman said that its fact-finding panel recommended the filing of graft (violation under two provisions of the Republic Act 3019), grave misconduct, usurpation of official functions and liability to person violating regulation of the board, as provided by Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 against Faeldon.

The panel also recommended filing of charges against the following officials of the BOC:

  • Former Import Assessment Service Director Milo Maestrecampo, for violating the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act and committing gross neglect of duty and grave misconduct. Maestecampo is now an assistant director at the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines.
  • Former Risk Management Office chief Larribert Hilario, for violation Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act
  • Accounts Management Office chief Mary Grace Tecson-Malabed, for violation of Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act and committing gross neglect of duty and grave misconduct
  • BOC intelligence officer Joel Pinawin, for grave misconduct
  • BOC intelligence officer Oliver Valiente, for grave misconduct

“The criminal and administrative charges undergo preliminary investigation and administrative adjudication, respectively,” the Ombudsman said.

Ombudsman probe launched in November

In November last year, the Office of the Ombudsman announced that it will form a fact-finding panel to probe the P6.4-billion shabu shipment from China that slipped past the BOC in May 2017.

Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales said that the creation of the panel was in line with Duterte’s pronouncement for independent agencies to probe the drug shipment.

Customs broker Mark Taguba tagged presidential son Paolo Duterte, former Davao City Vice Mayor and Manases Carpio, husband of Mayor Sara Duterte as members of Davao group that facilitates the release of the shipment. He later recanted.

The Ombudsman panel, however, said that complaints against the younger Duterte and Carpio were junked due to lack of basis.

Ombudsman Morales, who is Carpio's aunt, did not participate in the fact-finding investigation.

Criminal case

Faeldon’s name was dropped from the charge sheet of the Department of Justice. State prosecutors cited the weak complaint filed by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency.

The DOJ said that the PDEA failed "to state with clarity the acts or omission supposedly committed by the above-named BOC respondents that would constitute violation of the offense charged."

State prosecutors, instead, indicted Taguba and other traders for drug importation.

READ: DOJ drops drug raps vs Faeldon

The case stemmed from the raid led by the operatives of the BOC, PDEA, and the National Bureau of Investigation at a warehouse in Valenzuela City. Seized in the operation are 604 kilograms of methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu.

The shipment was declared as kitchenware, footwear and moldings, as it slipped through the BOC.

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