Duterte defends Lapeña, Faeldon: ‘Nalusutan lang’
President Rodrigo Duterte defended former Bureau of Customs (BOC) commissioners Isidro Lapeña and Nicanor Faeldon on Saturday amid the “shabu” controversies hounding the agency.
“Mind you, ito si Sid Lapeña sa Customs including Faeldon who was his predecessor, puro military ‘to (Mind you, Sid Lapeña and Faeldon, who was his predecessor, were military officers),” Duterte said during his speech at the MassKara Festival celebration in Negros Occidental on Saturday.
“Nalusutan talaga sila (The drugs really slipped past them),” he added.
Lapeña has been under fire because of the P11 billion worth of shabu (crystal meth) that was allegedly smuggled inside the country in August.
Last Thursday, he was appointed to become the next Director-General of Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda).
Meanwhile, his predecessor, Faeldon, was also caught in a “shabu” smuggling scandal after P6.4 billion worth of illegal drugs were seized by the customs agency last year.
Faeldon stepped down from his position after the controversy and was appointed as the new Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) chief to replace Ronald “Bato” de la Rosa.
In his speech, the President emphasized that the former Customs chiefs were not corrupt.
“Hindi sabihin na mga corrupt iyan, hindi corrupt iyan. Hindi ko kunin iyan kung corrupt. Sigurado ako. Nalusotan lang talaga kasi hindi nila kaya— kasi insider eh,” he said.
(They were not corrupt. I will not appoint them if they are corrupt. I’m sure of that. The drugs slipped past their watch, because of insiders.)
“Eh kaawa naman iyong mga they work a lifetime as a soldier fighting for this country trying to die and succeeding to die ang iba. Tapos ganunin mo lang,” he added.
(It’s a pity if they’ve worked all their lives as soldiers fighting for this country. Then something like this happens.)
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