Ethics Committee holds Faeldon's complaint vs. Lacson in abeyance

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 25) — The Senate Committee on Ethics and Privileges ruled Monday not to act on former Customs Chief Nicanor Faeldon's ethics complaint against Senator Panfilo Lacson.

Voting unanimously, the committee held the complaint in abeyance as Faeldon continues to defy the Senate by refusing to appear at the Blue Ribbon Committee's probe on the 604 kgs. of illegal drugs smuggled from China.

"Bago namin pansinin ang complaint mo, ang sinasabi ng committee, eh pansinin mo muna yung Senado," Ethics Committee Chairman Senator Vicente "Tito" Sotto III said at an ambush interview after the meeting.

Faeldon, who has been indefinitely detained in the Senate since September 11 for ignoring a subpoena from the Blue Ribbon Commitee, filed the case on September 18. He accused Lacson of lying to "discredit" and "destroy" him when the senator tagged him and other officials in Customs corruption in an August 23 privilege speech.

Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon, a member of the panel, said Faeldon can't ask the ethics committee to punish Lacson and Trillanes when he himself does not follow the Senate process. 

"Mr. Faeldon comes to this committee with unclean hands.... Therefore to me he has no right to come before this committee and ask for the remedy of a discipline on a colleague when he himself does not recognize that process by refusing to appear before the committee," he said at the meeting.

Earlier on Monday, Faeldon filed another ethics complaint-- this time against Senator Antonio Trillanes, who had accused him of being "at the heart" of the Customs controversy. Ethics Committee Chairman Tito Sotto said they will likely hold off Faeldon's complaint against Trillanes as well.

During the filing of the complaint, Faeldon again took a swipe Lacson and called the senator a liar for accusing him of receiving payoffs when he was head of the bureau.

"I never denied that there is tara. I believe there is, but saying that I'm part of it- that's really b*******, that's really  a lie," he told media during the filing of his ethics complaint against Senator Antonio Trillanes.

Faeldon said he thinks Lacson has became "obsessed" with him after he investigated Lacson's son, Panfilo "Pampi" Lacson, jr., whom he accused of smuggling cement.

READ: Faeldon accuses Lacson, son of smuggling

In a media interview Monday, Lacson hit back at the former Customs Chief. "Eh b******* din siya. Siya nga yung nasa center ng tara eh [He's at the center of tara]," he said. 

"I'm really obsessed to really pin him down and prove that there's corruption and he's involved in corruption," Lacson added.

Trillanes has likewise shot back at Faeldon, and told the former Marine captain to man up.

"Nagpapalusot lang naman siya eh, ayaw niya lang sagutin yung mga tanong ng mga senador kaya siya nagtatago. Sakin, magpakalalaki siya. Harapin niya ito. Kung wala kang tinatago, sumagot ka nang maayos," he said.

[Translation: He's just making excuses. He doesn't want to answer questions from the Senators, that's why he's hiding. I think he should man up and face this. If he's not hiding anything, answer properly.]

"He is at the heart of this controversy. Hindi ba totoo yon? Kasi siya yung Commissioner ng Customs eh. Sa Customs ito lumusot eh. So sino pa ba ang ituturo natin?"

[Translation: He is at the heart of the controversy. Isn't that true? He's the Commissioner of Customs. It passed through Customs. Who else will we blame?]

CNN Philippines' Cecille Lardizabal and Amanda Lingao contributed to this report.