MANILA- Sen. Panfilo Lacson on Thursday urged outgoing Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon to leave politics out of corruption issues hounding the Bureau of Customs (BOC).
This after Faeldon accused Lacson of discrediting BOC officials so the latter could gain political capital to fuel his presidential ambition.
"Huwag na lang lagyan ng political color. Nung 2010 nga nag-aalanganin na ako kung babalik pa ako sa Senado o sa politika. That's the farthest thing from my mind. Iniisip ko nga ito na 'yung last hurrah ko eh," he said in a press briefing.
Lacson ran but lost his presidential bid in 2004 against then incumbent president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. He later on went into hiding during Arroyo's time as he faced murder charges over the slay of publicist Salvador "Bubby" Dacer and his driver Emmanuel Corbito. Charges against him were eventually dropped.
He then expressed interest in running for President last year but instead ran for a Senate comeback.
In a presser on Thursday, Faeldon said Lacson came out with an exposé against him and other BOC officials because of his political ambition.
Lacson had accused Faeldon of taking a P100-million welcome gift upon his appointment to the BOC last year. Faeldon denied the allegations.
As he defended himself, Faeldon tagged the senator's son and namesake Panfilo "Pampi" Lacson Jr. in alleged cement smuggling and accused the senator of trying to oust him and his appointed men from the BOC as they were closing in on the younger Lacson's alleged illegal activities.
"I give him (elder Lacson) the benefit of the doubt baka hindi niya alam yung ginagawa ng anak niya? Or baka siya pasimuno nito? Anak niya e," Faeldon said.
The senator denied Faeldon's accusations, saying he would be the first to file charges against his son if allegations of cement smuggling were true.
"Hindi ko dummy ang anak ko. I have nothing to do with his business," he said.
"If my son is guilty of smuggling, I myself will file a case against him," he added.
The senator said Faeldon sent him a text message following his privilege speech Wednesday, where he came out with corruption allegations against the former Marine.
"Sabi niya lang, 'My highest respect. I hope there will be a competent body to investigate the exposé for the good of the country'," the senator said, quoting Faeldon's message.
He said he told Faeldon that he is willing to talk to him about his exposé.