Sandigan denies Faeldon’s bid to travel to US, South Korea

Elizabeth Marcelo - The Philippine Star
Sandigan denies Faeldonâs bid to travel to US, South Korea
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — The Sandiganbayan has denied the request of former Customs chief Nicanor Faeldon to travel to the United States and South Korea, pointing out that he is a flight risk with his history of escaping military custody twice after taking part in the 2003 Oakwood mutiny.

In a six-page resolution promulgated on Sept. 14, the anti-graft court’s Fifth Division said Faeldon failed to show the necessity of allowing him to travel to the US from Sept. 16 to 30 and to South Korea from Oct. 15 to 22.

The court dismissed as “uncertain” and “utterly insufficient” Faeldon’s claim that he is set to meet as an “informal backdoor facilitator” with some foreign partners and stakeholders who are supposedly “willing to help in the improvement of the country’s economy.”

The Fifth Division noted that Faeldon did not even provide the details to back his travel request, such as his itinerary and return flight information.

“Indeed, even the alleged purpose of the requested foreign travels undeniably appears to be uncertain. Therefore, absent a concrete and substantial purpose, the court cannot simply rely on his claim of necessity, more so that he is now a private citizen, having been separated from the military service since Sept. 5, 2019,” the court said.

The Sandiganbayan also said that Faeldon’s “reputation as a former escapee creates doubt on whether he would return to the Philippines if permitted to travel abroad.”

The Fifth Division noted that Faeldon had escaped authorities twice – first in December 2005 and second in November 2007. He surrendered to authorities in July 2010.

Faeldon is facing graft charges filed by the ombudsman last year.

The cases stemmed from the release of two shipments of Vietnamese rice totaling 40,000 bags from the Cagayan De Oro Port between March and June 2017 when he was Customs commissioner.


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