MANILA — The Senate Ethics Committee on Monday has put on hold the ethics complaint filed by former Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon against Senator Panfilo Lacson.
This, after Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon said that Faeldon’s complaints should not be acted upon until he testifies before the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee on the probe into the PHP6.4 billion shabu shipment that slipped through the Bureau of Customs (BOC).
Drilon, a member of the Senate Ethics Committee, explained that Faeldon should not ask the panel to give the remedy of disciplining a colleague because he himself did not respect the process of another Senate committee.
“Sa Committee on Ethics, sinabi ko na huwag nating kilalanin ang complaint ni Mr. Faeldon hangga’t hindi siya sumusunod sa patakaran ng Senado kasama roon ang patakaran ng blue ribbon na humarap sa blue ribbon at mag-testify. That was unanimously approved by the committee (I told the Ethics Committee that we should not act upon the complaint of Mr. Faeldon until he obeys rules of the Senate to face the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee to testify. This was unanimously approved by the committee),” Drilon said.
“Hindi siya pwedeng humarap sa ethics committee at humiling na parusahan si Senators Lacson at Trillanes hangga’t hindi niya sinusunod ang proseso ng senado sa Blue Ribbon kung saan siya naka-subpoena at dapat siyang mag-testify (He cannot face the Ethics Committee and ask it to punish Senators Lacson and Trillanes while he continues to disobey the process of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee; he was issued a subpoena and should testify),” Drilon added.
Faeldon filed an ethics complaint against Lacson last week. He filed an ethics complaint against Senator Antonio Trillanes IV on Monday (September 25).
Drilon said that Faeldon “deserved” to be cited in contempt.
He, meanwhile, explained that Faeldon’s detention in the Senate has “no period.”
“It’s up to the end of this Congress. If he refuses to appear before the blue ribbon committee, then he just remains in detention,” Drilon said.
Drilon said that he did not want the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee to terminate hearings into the illegal shipment until Faeldon is compelled to appear.
“We should not terminate until we compel him to appear because if there is that rule, aba hindi na lang ako sisipot. Magpa-contempt ako tapos afterwards ite-terminate na yung hearing does that mean that the citation for contempt is already academic? (We should not terminate until we compel him to appear, because if there is that rule, then I won’t show up. I’ll have myself cited for contempt then afterward when they terminate the hearing does that mean that the citation for contempt is already academic?),” Drilon said.
He added that the purpose of citing Faeldon in contempt is to compel him to testify and that detention is not a penalty but a form of coercion for him to appear.
Despite being issued with a subpoena, Faeldon refused to face the Senate committee noting that Lacson had already “judged” him as guilty of corruption.
Lacson earlier exposed corruption within the BOC saying that Faeldon received some PHP100-million worth of payoffs when he assumed office.
Instead of testifying, Faeldon surrendered to the Senate sergeant-of-arms and has been detained in the Senate for almost two weeks now.