Lapeña replaces Customs chief Faeldon

Lapeña replaces Customs chief Faeldon

Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon admitted on Tuesday that there was still corruption in his agency as he could not eradicate it completely by his lonesome. Senate PRIB/Romy Bugante

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday evening named Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency Director General Isidro Lapeña as the new Bureau of Customs chief replacing Nicanor Faeldon.

Duterte made the decision after embattled Faeldon rendered his resignation three times. He said Faeldon is aware that he will be replaced.

“If I appoint Lapeña, automatic na ‘yun, no need na,” Duterte said when asked of his formal acceptance of Faeldon’s resignation.

“Alam ni Faeldon na tatanggapin ko but sabi ko just give me time to make a decision,” the president said at the late night press briefing.

'Faeldon may still be reappointed in other post'

Despite accepting Faeldon’s resignation, Duterte still stood by the resigned Customs chief who faces corruption allegations over the controversial smuggled P6.4 billion muggling worth of shabu. He shared that Faeldon was one of the first who asked him to run for president.

The president said he has no positions yet for Faeldon but expressed intention to appoint him to another post.

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“From the tone of his resignation, he's very disappointed but I really believe he is an honest man,” Duterte said.

 “I have no reason to doubt  the government would need Faeldon… Naisahan lang siya, ang rotten talaga diyan is the system not necessarily the person but Bureau of Customs has rotten system,” he added.

While he believes in Faeldon, Duterte is also confident that Lapeña whom he described as “competent military man” can fix BOC. “Kaya niya iyan,” he added.

Faeldon said his relief from post is the "best for the country."

New PDEA chief named

Duterte also named Chief Superintendent Aaron Aquino of Philippine National Police Region 3 as the head of the PDEA, which implements drug policies set by the executive branch.

The president said there are several vacated posts which have yet to be filled namely the Interior and Local Government and Social Welfare and Development departments. He said he is still scouting for replacements.