MANILA, Philippines — Lawmakers continued to demand the resignation of Nicanor Faeldon despite President Rodrigo Duterte’s professed support for the beleaguered Customs commissioner.
Several lawmakers also dared him to name the officials, including their colleagues, allegedly seeking favors from the Bureau of Customs, including promotions for favored agency personnel.
“I dare him, name them,” Minority Leader Danilo Suarez said at a news conference. “Kung sino man iyon eh tungkulin ng House na idisiplina ang congressman na iyon (Whoever he was, it is the duty of the House to discipline that congressman).”
Ako Bicol party-list Representative Alfredo Garbin also told Faeldon to “name the influence-peddlers,” adding that the allegations should not divert attention from the smuggling of drugs under the noses of Customs officials.
Faeldon earlier appealed to officials to stop intervening in appointments at the BOC, calling this a form of corruption.
Lawyer Mandy Anderson, Faeldon’s chief of staff, earlier revealed that she had been threatened by the camp of Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez after she turned down the promotion of an officer recommended by the House leader.
Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas said there was nothing wrong with government officials recommending people to posts since the final say rests with the appointing authority.
Corruption, he pointed out, does not begin with recommendations by officials.
“Kalokohan ‘yan. Bakit, hindi naman niya sinunod iyong recommendation. Magsisimula ang corruption sa empleyado ng Customs. Kung patatakbuhin nila nang maayos ang Customs, kahit sino ang mag-recommend d’yan, eh di alisin nila, i-charge nila (That’s foolish. Why, if he did not follow the recommendation. Corruption begins with the Customs employees. If they run Customs well, no matter who makes recommendations, they can always kick them out and charge them),” Farinas said.
Representatives Harry Roque, Lito Atienza and John Bertiz, all minority members, also called on Faeldon to either resign or take a leave.
“He should do the honorable thing, he did not perform as expected, he should consider resigning,” Roque said.