MANILA -- Senator Panfilo Lacson on Thursday denied allegations of former Bureau of Customs (BOC) Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon that his son, Panfilo Lacson Jr., was involved in smuggling billions worth of cement.

Faeldon’s allegation came a day after Lacson delivered a privilege speech in the Senate exposing the former Commissioner as being among the BOC officials who were recipients of millions worth of bribes.

The former commissioner, in a press conference, claimed that his bureau uncovered billions worth of shipment of smuggled cement by Bonjourno Trading, company owned by the younger Lacson.

Lacson, however, said he would not have exposed corruption in the BOC if he had known his son was involved in controversies of his own.

“…It doesn't make sense that I will expose the shenanigans in the BOC if my son is cheating on taxes as Faeldon is now accusing him of. The logical thing for me to do is not make the expose and just keep quiet,” Lacson said in a text message.

Lacson said he had spoken to his son minutes before holding the press conference and asked him if he was involved in any sort of illegal activities within the BOC.

Even before he delivered his privilege speech on Wednesday, he had already asked his son about this. The younger Lacson assured him that he paid his taxes correctly.

“…Tinanong ko rin siya, mag-e-expose ako. Baka mamaya nagsesemento kayo baka mamaya may … Sabi niya ‘Wala Daddy’. Okay fine (I asked him, I’m going to expose something. Your cement business might be involved in…He said ‘We’re not, Daddy.’ Okay fine),” the senator said.
“I’m not hiding anything and my son assured me he is not hiding anything,” he added.

Lacson said he has always reminded his son to be on the level in whatever business dealings he would have and that he would be the first person to castigate him and even initiate the filing of charges against him if he didn’t.

The senator added that the timing of Faeldon’s allegations was a bit delayed saying that he should have filed cases against his son immediately after he had found out about the violations involving his son's cement importation.

“…Bakit ngayon lang nagsalita o nag-accuse si Faeldon niyan? Di ba dapat noon pa finile-an niya ng kaso kung may nasilip siyang violation ng Customs and Tariff Code or whatever law ang nag-cover sa importation ng semento (Why did Faeldon talk or accuse just now? Shouldn’t he have filed cases before if he saw violations of Customs and Tariff Code or whatever laws cover importation of cement),” Lacson said.

“…Kung sabi niya matagal na dapat noon finile-an niya. And he could have called my attention noon, Sir ang anak nyo may problema. He never did (He should have filed cases a long time ago. And he could have called my attention before ‘Sir, your son has a problem’. He never did),” added.
He added that there was no such thing as smuggling of cement because cement was not subject to Customs tariff and duties.

“There is no smuggling of cement as it is not subject to customs tariff and duties but only subject to VAT (value-added tax)? which my son said when I checked with him just now, they always pay,” Lacson said.

The senator also denied Faeldon’s allegation that his son is his “dummy” and that it is he who is involved in the cement business.

“’Di ko dummy kasi di ko nga alam, wala akong pakialam, nothing to do with his business (I’m not a dummy because I don’t even know, I’m not even concerned, nothing to do with his business),” he added. “I don’t even know the name of the company of my son.” (PNA)