MANILA - (UPDATE) The Senate on Monday ordered the release of former Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon, who has been detained for contempt since September 2017.
Blue Ribbon Committee chairman Richard Gordon announced this during the continuation of their investigation into the P6.4-billion drug haul from China.
"There is no applause here. There is only respect for the Senate; that does not include people trying to applaud the release of somebody...whose actions may not have been in accordance with the proper respect due the Senate," he said after his announcement was met with applause from the crowd.
"You did not disrespect me, you disrespected the Senate and I am duty bound to protect the Senate," he said.
"We don't find pleasure in putting people in contempt. We're not happy when we put you there. I am not on a power trip here or the committee is not on a power trip here," he added.
Faeldon, now the deputy administrator of the Office of Civil Defense, was detained in the Senate since last year for refusing to participate at the committee's inquiry on the drug shipment from China that was smuggled through the Manila port.
He was transferred to the Pasay City Jail in January after bickering with Gordon when he finally attended the hearing.
As Faeldon is released from detention, Gordon asked him to continue to participate in the hearings and that "there will no more be back-talking and you will answer directly."
Faeldon's release papers were signed before noon and were being processed as of writing. - with reports from Vivienne Gulla, ABS-CBN News