January 20, 2018, 6:47 pm
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The implication of Duterte’s special treatment of Faeldon

THE appointment of former Customs chief Nicanor Faeldon to another government position after he was cleared by the Department of Justice of any accountability in the smuggling of 604 kilos of shabu worth P6.4 billion renders President Duterte’s twin banner program: fight against illegal drugs and corruption, a farce.

Last November, the DOJ gave Faeldon and his men clearance, saying the evidence presented by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency were insufficient to establish probable case.

Not even for negligence or incompetence?

Soon after the clearance, President Duterte appointed Faeldon as deputy administrator of the Office of Civil Defense, a disaster-response agency under the Department of National Defense, even as he remains confined to the Senate for refusing to honor the summons of the Senate Blue Ribbon committee to the hearings investigating the anomaly of the 604 kilos of shabu ending up in Valenzuela warehouses.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana was honest to say that their agency did not request for Faeldon for the recently-vacated position. He was diplomatic though, saying they “welcome him with open arms.”

Senator Antonio Trillanes IV is not alone in thinking that Faeldon must be privy to a lot of sensitive information on Duterte that he has to handle him with care.

“Faeldon knows the dark secrets of the Duterte family that’s why, even if he is grossly incompetent, he remains a sacred cow,” Trillanes said in a text message to reporters.

Faeldon’s associates in the Bureau of Customs, former military men Gerardo Gambala and Milo Maestrecampo, were also appointed in the Department of Transportation.

Yes, it’s not only Faeldon who has to be taken care of.

But if the Duterte government decided to play blind to the failings of Faeldon and company, it looks like they are going to punish the whistleblower Mike Taguba, customs broker. The Bureau of Internal Revenue has filed tax evasion charges amounting to P850.57 million against Taguba, and businessman Yi Shen Dong, also known as Kenneth Dong (P11.406 million) in connection with the P6.4-billion shabu shipment.

The government did not bother to look for “Tita Nanie,” whom Taguba said was his contact with the Davao group that facilitated the shipment of hot cargo.

The government’s inaction, however, has fuelled public speculation that all these - Faeldon’s clearance, not looking for Tita Nanie – are being done so as not to pin down the President’s son, Paolo Duterte, resigned vice mayor of Davao City, whom Trillanes has identified as the force behind the Davao group.

Nothing was heard of Davao councilor Nilo “Small” Abellera Jr., best friend of Paolo Duterte, whom Taguba identified as having received the P5 million he paid as “enrolment fee” to the Davao group.

All these, they think, will erase the truth about the P6.4-billion shabu shipment.

That’s what they think.

***

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