By Jeffrey Damicog
Former Bureau of Customs (BOC) Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon believes the Office of the Ombudsman and not the Department of Justice (DOJ) has jurisdiction over the criminal raps filed against him concerning the smuggled P6.4 billion illegal drugs.
Because of this, Faeldon filed on Thursday a motion asking the DOJ panel of prosecutors to dismiss the criminal complaint against him for lack of jurisdiction.
“It is the Office of the Ombudsman (OMB) and not this DOJ Investigating Panel, which has jurisdiction to investigate all offenses involving Mr. Faeldon, who was a Salary Grade 30 public officer, or involving those offenses or felonies allegedly committed by him in relation to his office,” read his motion.
Faeldon filed the motion as the prosecutors begun conducting its preliminary investigation over the complaints filed against him and his co-respondents for drug importation and coddling of drug traffickers in violation of Republic Act 9165, the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.
In his motion, Faeldon pointed out that under the Sandiganbayan Law, the offenses fall under the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan since it fulfills the requisites that he was a public officer with a salary grade above 27 and the offenses were committed in relation to his office.
He said this has been backed by the Supreme Court (SC) which declared in a ruling that “what determines the Sandiganbayan’s jurisdiction is the official position or rank of the offender — that is, whether he is one of those public officers or employees enumerated in paragraph of Section 4 (RA 9165).”
“Even assuming arguendo that the allegations in the complaint were to constitute conspiracy to import prohibited drugs, which is punishable under the Dangerous Drugs Act, jurisdiction remains with the OMB and the Sandiganbayan, considering that the operative acts were allegedly done in relation to Mr. Faeldon’s power, position and authority as former BOC Commissioner,” the motion pointed out.
The DOJ is conducting the preliminary investigation on the consolidated complaints that were initially filed separately by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).
Tags: Bureau of Customs (BOC), criminal complaint, Department of Justice (DOJ), Faeldon, Faeldon seeks transfer of raps to Ombdudsman, jurisdiction, Manila Bulletin, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), prosecutors