Press Release
September 1, 2019

Hontiveros to Duterte: FIRE AND CHARGE FAELDON
*Statement of Akbayan Senator Risa Hontiveros

Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) Director Nicanor Faeldon does not deserve the trust of the Filipino people. After repeatedly denying any involvement in the impending release of convicted rapist-murderer Antonio Sanchez, not only was he revealed by media reports as having been involved, but his signature also appeared on an August 20 order to release Sanchez. Faeldon looked at the Filipino people square in the face, and lied. That alone is reprehensible enough. But the fact that he effectively coddled an unrepentant convicted rapist and murderer, turned a blind eye to Sanchez's crimes while he is in prison and lied to the public, is a gross violation of the oath of office that all civil servants take.

And now Faeldon's office allegedly released a number of Chinese drug traffickers despite the opposition of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) which described the decision as "not conforming to the process."

In the meantime, we have a list of names of inmates who are more deserving to be released -- pastors, teachers, prison counselors. Why were they bypassed for a man who smuggled drugs inside a Blessed Mary statue? Bakit nauna pa si Mayor?

This is not the first time Faeldon has failed in handling critical positions. When he was head of the Bureau of Customs (BOC), P 6.4 billion worth of shabu from China slipped through our ports and the "tara system" worsened. The Ombudsman itself recommended the filing of both administrative and criminal charges. It seems that everywhere Faeldon goes, corruption and abuse of power follow.

But what is perhaps the greatest casualty of Faeldon's gross incompetence and abuse of authority as BuCor chief is Republic Act 10592 which increases the good conduct time allowance (GCTA) that can be deducted from an inmate's total prison term. The measure is actually a good law consistent with the principles of restorative justice. But because of Sanchez and the release of several Chinese drug traffickers, Faeldon cast unnecessary doubts on the law, and placed in limbo the chance for a second life of many deserving inmates who have made great effort at repentance and rehabilitation.

I call on President Rodrigo Duterte to respond decisively to this travesty of justice and immediately fire Faeldon. Section 6 of RA 10592 penalizes officials who violate the law with perpetual disqualification from holding public office and imprisonment. Faeldon should be removed from public office and charged with the appropriate administrative and criminal cases.

I also add my voice to the call to overhaul the BuCor, including its personnel and internal procedures. It's time to clean house. Our already struggling justice system cannot afford further damage. Justice cannot be served by people who are only too willing to bend it.

President Duterte should stop his practice of recycling questionable appointees from one department to another. The courtroom, where he should stand accused of obstructing justice and betraying the public interest, should be the last stop for the overly recycled and department-hopping Faeldon.

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