Faeldon to file ethics complaint vs Lacson, Trillanes

Sherrie Ann Torres, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 15 2017 05:30 PM

MANILA - Detained former Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon plans to personally file his complaint against Sen. Panfilo Lacson before the Senate Ethics Committee.

On Friday, lawyer Jose Diño, counsel and spokesperson of Faeldon, said his client intends to file the complaint at 11 a.m. on Monday.

“Captain Faeldon will request for permission from (Office of the Sergeant-at-Arms) OSAA to be allowed to personally file, under guard of course, his verified ethics complaint,” Diño told reporters in a text message.

Faeldon's complaint against Lacson is based on grounds of calumny, abuse of right and privilege, and serious misconduct.

It stems from the senator’s “Kita Kita” privilege speech linking Customs officials – led by Faeldon – to corruption within the bureau under the “tara system.”

The senator alleged that Faeldon received P100 million as a welcome gift from Customs brokers.

Faeldon strongly denied the allegation, which resulted in his refusal to attend a Senate Blue Ribbon Committee hearing on the P6.4 billion shabu shipment from China, which ended with his personal decision to be detained at the Senate.

Lacson welcomed the filing of the complaint and said it is the "right of anybody."

"In fact, that was the advice to him by Sen. (Richard) Gordon when he visited him in his detention place," he said.

The senator, however, cited Article 6, Section 11 of the Constitution, which states that a member of Congress cannot be arrested if the chamber is in session.

Lacson emphasized that no lawmaker can be questioned nor held liable for any speech or debate in Congress.

"Therefore, it is his right to waste bond paper and ink. Anyway, he has the money to pay his lawyers even if it's tantamount to an exercise in futility and stupidity," he said.

Diño denied it was Gordon, chair of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, who advised Faeldon to file a complaint.

He said it was Faeldon's family who actually insisted on doing such, following Lacson's speech which allegedly aimed at destroying the former Custom's chief's name and reputation.

After filing the complaint against Lacson, Faeldon's camp will also file a similar ethics complaint against Sen. Antonio Trillanes for supposedly throwing malicious allegations against him during the Senate hearings.

Trillanes said Faeldon "seems to not run out of gimmicks."

"But at the end of the day, he needs to face the committee and answer our questions," he said.