MANILA, Philippines – The legal counsel of resigned Customs chief Nicanor Faeldon said the latter will not seek his release from Senate custody despite being cleared of charges in connection with the P6.4-B smuggled s***u shipment recently by the Department of Justice (DOJ).
Faeldon’s lawyer, Jose Dino, said his client feels vindicated by the DOJ decision but they will not ask the Senate to release him.
“We have not asked the Senate, specifically the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee nor we ever request it to release captain Faeldon despite the vindication that we received based on news reports that the DOJ has absolved us from any liabilities,” he reportedly told ABS-CBN News in a phone interview.
Dino added Faeldon’s decision is meant to send a message tha “nobody has to be investigated in aid of persecution and of one senator, in aid of obsession.” He added that his client is doing well and is in a very good ‘fighting form’.
On Wednesday, the DOJ cleared Faeldon, along with several other individuals, of illegal drug charges on the basis that the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) failed to provide additional evidence proving the accused violated the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.
“Further, the evidence adduced by the PDEA in support of the charges were insufficient to establish probable case. Thus, the Panel is constrained to take into consideration the defense raised by the respondents,” said the Justice department in its resolution.
The DOJ also dismissed the charges against former BOC Director Milo Maestrecampo, Director Neil Estrella, Intelligence Officer Joel Pinawin, Intelligence Officer Oliver Valiente, Atty. Jeleena Magsuci, Atty. Philip Maronilla, Alexandra Y. Ventura, Randolph O. Cabansag, Dennis J. Maniego, Dennis Cabildo and John Edillor.
Faledon was taken into custody by the Senate in September after being cited for contempt for failing to appear before the investigating committee despite being summoned.