Vows not to attend Senate hearing
By VANNE TERRAZOLA
Former Customs chief Nicanor Faeldon yesterday said he will turn himself in at the Senate on Monday, not to attend the hearing but to submit himself to custody.
“I will go to the Senate and let myself arrested…But I will not go and attend the hearing. They can carry me or let me sit there but I will not participate,” a defiant Faeldon said.
Faeldon said that he will only go “to any competent court” than attend to inquiries being conducted by the Senate or the House of Representatives.
Maintaining that his action is not a defiance to the institution, Faeldon said he is protesting the “maligning” he received from Senators Panfilo Lacson and Antonio Trillanes IV who accused him and his colleagues of accepting millions of bribe money from corrupt importers.
He said he has signed a bank waiver to help authorities investigating him. “Pati na rin mga kapatid ko at kamag-anak ko, magsa-sign ng bank waiver,” he said during a press briefing in Taytay, Rizal.
A representative from the Senate’s Office of Sergeant-At-Arms (OSAA) went to the house of Faeldon’s sister in Taytay to inform him of Monday’s hearing.
Meanwhile, Senator Richard Gordon said Faeldon will only be arrested if he fails to show up on Monday.
“If he will not attend, I will have him arrested. But if he promised to go to the session, to the Senate, I will not have him arrested. I don’t want him embarrassed, being carried bodily,” Gordon said.
Gordon, chair of the Senate blue Ribbon committee, said Senate President Aquilino Pimentel has approved his recommendation to cite Faeldon in contempt for refusing to the panel’s summons despite a subpoena for him.
The approval came with a “pro-forma” arrest order, he clarified, as in any case of contempt.
“He will have to sit and present himself before the table because that is the order…If he refuses to answer, he will have to go to the next step, which is, putting him under formal arrest,” he said.
Gordon also denied that his committee refuses to give Faeldon the opportunity to defend himself.
“And he should not judge us, because as I told before, I do not fully trust Taguba. And I can prove that he’s saying the truth in some instances, and some other instances, he’s not…that’s why I ordered the NBI to file cases against all of them. And they have already filed cases,” he followed.
The senator said he will “try his very best” to convince Faeldon to speak up on Monday. He assured that Faeldon will be allowed to speak to defend and explain himself.