By: Charissa M. Luci-Atienza
Lawmakers rallied behind yesterday the decision of the House Committee on Dangerous Drugs not to recommend possible criminal prosecution against 28 athletes who were tapped by the Bureau of Customs (BoC) as its intelligence consultants.
Deputy Speaker and Batangas Rep. Raneo Abu said the burden should be put on the shoulders of those who hired and approved their employment.
“Liabilities fall to those who hired and approved their employment if they are qualified or not and to those who certified that they were present on days they were not performing their assigned duties and responsibilities required by Civil Service Commission (CSC)regulations,” Abu said in an interview.
It was Abu who exposed that at least 28 professional basketball and volleyball players were hired in different positions by the BoC under former Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon.
Among the athletes hired by the BoC were former Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) superstars Kenneth Duremdes, Marlou Aquino and EJ Feihl and volleyball superstar Alyssa Valdez.
Abu said under the panel report of the House Committee on Dangerous Drugs, he sought the filing of multiple counts of falsification of public documents and usurpation of public authority against lawyer Mandy Therese Anderson, Faeldon’s chief-of-staff.
“Anderson signed the daily time records (DTR) of professional basketball and volleyball players hired by the BoC and made it appear they reported for work as technical assistants and counter-intelligence analysts, when they were actually hired to play for the agency’s teams,” Abu said.