Magdalo representative Gary Alejano and Senator Antonio Trillanes in different occasions clarified that Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon is not an official member of Magdalo.
|Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon, with him Deputy Commissioner for Management Information System and Technology Group Gerardo Gambala (photo credit to PDI)
The Magdalo group are the ones responsible for the Oakwood mutiny in Makati, when 321 soldiers and several officers occupied Oakwood Premier apartment building in Makati City in defiance to the administration of then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
Alejano would not vouch for Faeldon, claiming that he does not very well the latter. “I cannot vouch for him. He should answer what he has to answer but I cannot conclude whether he is at fault or not.” Alejano said.
“He was part of the Magdalo but we removed him from the group when he escaped in 2005,” Alejano said. “It created a rift between us but I was able to bring him back to the group as friends, not as part of the group anymore.”
“I was the one who recruited him. We were together in the Marine Corps. We were in the same battalion,” said Alejano, who started at the Philippine Marine Corps in 1995.
The Magdalo representative also stated that he and some members of the Magdalo where shocked last Presidential elections that Faeldon would be joining the Duterte administration as his chief of the Bureau of Customs.
Statement of Triallanes
Senator Antonio Trillanes in a press statement affirmed that Bureau of Customs (BOC) Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon was not part of the Magdalo faction of the military.
Deputy Commissioner for Management Information System and Technology Group Gerardo Gambala and Import Assessment Division Director Milo Maestrecampo were former leaders of Magdalo but were removed when they entered into a plea bargain agreement with the government in 2008.
The senator expressed his hope that the various investigations, which they are now facing, would determine their guilt or innocence.
Both Alejano and Trillanes vouched for Gambala and Maestrecampo.
“I know these people. They are good people.” said Alejano.
Trillanes, noted that he knew “well enough” that his classmates in the Philippine Military Academy, Gambala and Maestrecampo, were not part of the syndicate that facilitated the delivery of the PHP6.4 million worth of shabu.
Faeldon, still enjoys the trust and confidence of president Rodrigo Duterte. The BOC commissioner has been in the hot seat for allowing to past the illegal drug shipment - 605 kilograms of shabu from Custom controls. The cargo was eventually seized in a Valenzuela warehouse.
Some lawmakers are asking for his resignation.