Letters to the Editor

‘Magic’ behind P6.4-B shabu haul

/ 05:00 AM August 19, 2017

Every great magic trick (or illusion) has three parts or acts.
The first part is “The Pledge.”

The illusionists show you something ordinary: a shipment from Xiamen arrived in Manila last May 17, breezed through the Bureau of Customs’ (BOC) express lane and exited port on May 23, then delivered to Valenzuela.


The second part is “The Turn.” The illusionists let the shipment leave the BOC before alerting it that a shipment from Xiamen contained a massive amount of shabu. And voila! The biggest shabu haul under President Duterte’s watch is caught after it slipped undetected through the BOC, thanks to a tip from the importer of the shipment himself, Richard Tan. But don’t applaud yet because making a massive drug bust isn’t enough. Heads must roll.

That’s why every magic trick has a third act we call “The Prestige.” The main culprit should be the importer/ consolidator/sender/receiver/facilitator Richard Tan. Bizarrely, he is the informant “to be protected, not punished.” So with only the BOC left to blame, Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon’s head on a platter is “The Prestige.”


Which do you think is the easier way to destroy Faeldon: ship a record-breaking amount of shabu through Xiamen, cross the volatile sea then through the BOC with considerable risk of detection, or just make it appear (with no risk of detection) that shabu slipped right under Faeldon’s “incompetent or corrupt” nose?

If no one at the BOC detected it, then it’s perfectly possible that shabu never passed through the bureau. Isn’t it fishy how China alerted the BOC two days after the shipment exited the port? Two days is ample time to load or switch a clean shipment.

The Office of the Speaker may dismiss this as another “deliberate effort at diversion” (“Real issue behind the BOC controversy,” Letters, 8/7/17). No. It’s a valid contrasting angle to consider alongside ongoing investigations.

Faeldon had been a thorn in China’s expansionism and to some powerful politicians’ influence-peddling. I think Mr. Duterte is wary on whether China is conniving with people in his administration to remove Faeldon and his team.

I don’t agree with everything Mr. Duterte does but he is a student of Sun Tzu. Despite his outward friendliness toward China, Faeldon’s presence at the BOC is a subtle assurance to everyone that Mr. Duterte is not China’s imbecile. Mano Digong should nicely remind China to refrain from controlling our agencies.

To Commissioner Faeldon, you need to resign, sir. Not being fired is no proof of honor. The invaluable affirmation of trust in you lies in the President’s refusal to accept your resignation.

ERNIE LAPUZ, [email protected]


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TAGS: Bureau of Customs, Inquirer Opinion, letters, Nicanor Faeldon
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