MANILA, Philippines — Former Bureau of Customs (BOC) commissioner Nicanor Faeldon is willing to be detained in a regular jail and continue his “passive resistance” to protest what he described as his persecution by some senators, his lawyer said yesterday.
“Faeldon does not consider his detention at the Senate premises hard and described his quarters as fit for a colonel,” lawyer Jose Diño said.
On Monday, the former Marine captain walked into the Senate detention cell after he was cited in contempt for twice refusing to appear before the Blue Ribbon committee hearing on the shabu smuggling in the BOC.
He said he chose detention over testifying as Senators Panfilo Lacson and Antonio Trillanes IV were using the hearing to persecute him and other innocent BOC officials.
Lacson and Trillanes earlier accused Faeldon of accepting bribes from smugglers, which the former Customs chief denied.
“I’m willing to sacrifice, 10 days, one month in detention in Pasay, Muntinlupa jails. Don’t worry about me. I’m a Marine,” Diño quoted Faeldon as saying.
Diño said Faeldon did not run to the Supreme Court to question the contempt order of the Senate.
He said the former BOC chief wants to draw public attention to the practice of lawmakers of conducting investigations “in aid of persecution” and invoking parliamentary immunity when accusing innocent people.
“This is a passive resistance, that’s why I chose to be detained. My detention is a small price to pay for a message that I truly believe in,” Diño quoted Faeldon as saying.
He reiterated Faeldon’s challenge for his accusers to file cases against him in courts.
Committee chairman Sen. Richard Gordon yesterday said he might consider sending Faeldon home, but the latter will still be in contempt of the Senate.
Lacson told reporters that he was building up “documentation” for the complaint to be filed against Faeldon before the Office of the Ombudsman.