MANILA - Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV on Thursday alleged that his former comrade, Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon, is "at the heart" of the P6.4-billion shabu smuggling controversy hounding the Bureau of Customs (BOC).
"As to Faeldon, I have enough information to say that he is at the heart of this controversy. And once he is done malingering, I hope he musters enough courage to face the grilling of the Senators and Congressmen," Trillanes said in a statement.
The senator, however, affirmed Faeldon's statement that Customs officials Milo Maestrecampo and Gerardo Gambala, were not involved.
Trillanes, Faeldon, Maestrecampo and Gambala were among soldiers who staged the 2003 Oakwood mutiny against the administration of then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, supposedly a protest against corruption.
"However, having known well enough my PMA classmates, Gerry Gambala and Milo Maestrecampo, I am almost certain that they are not part of the syndicate that facilitated the release of this P6-billion peso shabu shipment," he said.
"Having said that, the various investigations, which they have bravely faced, ultimately, would determine their guilt or innocence," he added.
Customs officials are under fire for alleged gross incompetence for failing to stop the entry of P6.4 billion worth of illicit drugs from China.
This has triggered separate investigations at the Senate and the House of Representatives, where a customs broker has identified officials he has allegedly bribed.
Maestrecampo, who was among those named but denied the allegations, has resigned from his post. -- with a report from Sherrie Ann Torres, ABS-CBN News