MANILA- (2nd UPDATE) Outgoing Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon on Thursday linked Senator Panfilo Lacson's son to smuggling activities in the Bureau of Customs (BOC).
Panfilo "Pampi" Lacson Jr.'s Bonjourno company brought in 67 shiploads of cement worth billions of pesos that were all undervalued by 50 percent, Faeldon claimed in a press conference.
"Last month, in a span of a week, Lacson Jr.'s company managed to bring in 3 shipments amounting to P106 million. How is that possible for a company whose starting capital is only P20,000?" Faeldon said.
"Si Pampi Lacson wants to pay only 50 percent of his freight cost.
Nagbibigay sa atin ng fake documents to try to justify na $8 lang dapat niya bayaran when prevailing market sa buong mundo ay $16-$20," he added.
Pampi, he said, also went to his office 5 times and allegedly tried to bribe his staff.
"Nagdala ng pera doon si Panfilo Lacson, Jr. at sinabihan niya iyun 2 staff na kaharap niya, kasama iyung number one sa board, 'Sa inyo na po ako magbabayad.' Alam naman po ni Mr. Lacson na sa office ni Commissioner, walang kahera doon," he said.
ABS-CBN News is trying to reach out to the younger Lacson. His father Sen. Panfilo Lacson however has belied Faeldon's claims and challenged the latter to file charges against his son if the allegations are true.
"First, I have nothing to do with my son's business activities; second, there is no smuggling of cement as it is not subject to customs tariff and duties but only subject to VAT (value added tax), which my son said when I checked with him just now, they always pay," Sen. Lacson said in a a statement.
"He should have filed charges against my son if he now says, he's into smuggling," he added.
The senator explained that it does not make sense that he exposed alleged irregularities in the Bureau of Customs while his son is cheating on taxes as Faeldon had accused.
"The logical thing for me to do is not to make the exposé and just keep quiet. For the record, I have always reminded my son to be on the level in whatever business dealings he would have because if not, I'll be the first one to castigate him and even initiate filing of charges against him," he said.
Faeldon made the allegations after Lacson accused him and his 6 appointed men in Customs of executing corruption schemes in the BOC.
BOC CHIEF FIRES BACK AT SENATOR
Faeldon said Lacson was trying to oust him and his appointed men from BOC as they were closing in on Bonjourno's illegal activities. The senator, he claimed, knew of the firm's alleged smuggling activities.
"Ito ka, ito ang pamilya mo, ito ang kinatatakutan ninyo kasi nakikita na namin. We will bring you to justice that is why you want us out," he said.
"I give him the benefit of the doubt baka hindi niya alam yung ginagawa ng anak niya? Or baka siya pasimuno nito? Anak niya e," Faeldon added.
He also accused Lacson of discrediting BOC officials so he could gain political capital and run again for president.
"You have an ambition to become president, you have proven that already. Tumakbo ka ng 2004 e. Gusto mo ba tumakbo ulit by destroying me, by destroying the few people that I brought in there to try to find out what is happening in the bureau?" he said.
Faeldon called for an investigation into Bonjourno. He said he would provide evidence against the firm, including bank certificates and a letter from an association of cement manufacturers which listed it among alleged top smugglers.
Faeldon recently stepped down as Customs chief after the House and the Senate launched probes on irregularities that led to the entry of P6.4 billion worth of illegal drugs in the country.