On clearing Faeldon, other gov’t officials: Aguirre berates senators, says PDEA at fault

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  • Justice chief scored solons who twitted him for DOJ resolution clearing Faeldon, et al. from drug raps
  • He said they didn’t know the process, pointed to PDEA as the bungler
  • He also said complainants can still appeal the resolution

MANILA, Philippines – Don’t look at me.

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II had this to say to senators who scored him over the Department of Justice (DOJ)’s resolution clearing former Customs chief Nicanor Faeldon and several other government officials in the BOC’s P6.4-B drug-smuggling mess.

According to Aguirre, those who were grumbling should blame the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) for the incomplete and lackluster complaint it filed against Faeldon, et al.

“My advice to them is to read first the complaint of the PDEA and the findings of the panel and see what kind of evidence they submitted. You should not be too quick in drawing your own conclusion, especially these opposition senators,” the Philippine Star quoted him as saying.

The justice chief said it is the obligation of PDEA to gather evidence against Faeldon — including the summary reports of the Senate’s legislative inquiry since it had been designated by President Rodrigo Duterte as the lead agency in the war on drugs.

“They could have found evidence of culpability of any BOC officers during the Senate investigation but if they were not presented to us, then they will not be considered,” he said.

At the same time, Aguirre said the resolution may still be reversed as it has not yet even reached his office.

“As of this stage, the case is still in the preliminary stage and the Office of the Secretary (OSEC) has still nothing to do with the proceedings there. As a matter of fact, I have not yet read the resolution of the National Prosecution Service,” he said; adding that they were ready to defend their decision any time.