Senate cites Faeldon in contempt for skipping probe on illegal drugs

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 7) — The Senate Blue Ribbon Committee on Thursday cited former Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon in contempt after he ignored a subpoena to attend the Senate hearings on the P6.4-billion illegal drug shipment from China.

"The chair orders Captain Faeldon in contempt and must report here on the next hearing on Monday," Senate Blue Ribbon Committee Richard Gordon said. Faeldon was a former Marine captain.

Faeldon must attend the next Senate hearing on Monday, Sept. 11, or he will be arrested and detained until he testifies.

The committee issued a subpoena on Faeldon last August 29, but Faeldon was a no-show in the two Senate hearings since then.

Faeldon skipping probe as 'protest'

In a letter to the Senate, Faeldon said he had no intention of defying the senators, but was skipping the probe as a form of "protest."

"This is in protest to protect my rights and the rights of innocent resource persons currently invited and those who will be invited in the future," he said.

Faeldon had attended two previous Senate hearings. He was almost cited in contempt on Aug. 15 after he refused to answer questions from Sen. Antonio Trillanes.

READ: Faeldon, Trillanes clash at Senate hearing on ₱6.4-B shabu shipment

In an Aug. 23 privilege speech, Sen. Ping Lacson also accused Faeldon and other Customs officials of corruption. All officials denied the accusation.

READ: Lacson links Faeldon to alleged Customs corruption

In his letter, Faeldon said he has the "highest respect" for the Senate, but he was not given a chance to fully explain his side during hearings.

He said he would be willing to face a court when cases are filed against him.

"I have appealed to the President and both houses of Congress for the immediate conduct of trial by a competent court to hear and decide all cases involving the drug shipment and the allegations of corruption in the bureau of customs so that justice will be served," he said.

He also attached a waiver for the disclosure of his bank details.

"You are free to look into my bank accounts. All my brothers sisters, nephews and nieces are also willing to sign a waiver of their bank accounts- just say the word," he said.