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Duterte fires Faeldon amid release of Chiong convicts, Sanchez mess

President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday fired Bureau of Corrections Director General Nicanor Faeldon amid the controversy involving the early release of heinous crimes convicts.

"Yes, now," Duterte said at a news conference in Malacañang when asked if he was firing Faeldon.

"Sabi niya he was placing his destiny sa kamay ko. Now is the time. I said you violated instructions," he added.

Duterte said minutes earlier that he was demanding the resignation of Faeldon for disobeying his order that no convict should be released until further orders from higher authorities.

However, the President sidestepped the question on whether he will appoint Faeldon, a former Customs commissioner and Office of Civil Defense deputy administrator, to another government post.

He also said in jest that one has to ask Faeldon first where the latter wants to be assigned next.

Duterte also called for an investigation by the Office of the Ombudsman regarding the release of heinous crimes convicts on account of good behavior.

BuCor data showed that of the 22,049 persons deprived of liberty (PDL) released from 2014 to 2019 due to good conduct time allowance, 1,914 had been convicted of heinous crimes such as murder and rape.

Of those convicted of heinous crimes, 797 were sentenced for murder, 758 for rape, 274 for robbery with violence or intimidation, 48 for drug-related offenses, 29 for parricide, five for kidnapping with illegal detention, and three for destructive arson.

Duterte urged these convicts to surrender to authorities.

Marred with controversies

Several senators earlier said Faeldon must be held accountable for the early freedom granted to convicts serving time, including those convicted of heinous crimes.

"Dapat akuin n’ya ang mga pangyayari at magbitiw. Palpak na sa BOC, palpak pa rin sa BuCor. Mahiya naman ang gobyernong ito sa taumbayan at sibakin na itong si Faeldon at kasuhan," Senator Francis Pangilinan said.

Senator Joel Villanueva had warned against appointing Faeldon to a new post, syaing "his stints in Customs and now in BuCor [were] associated with drug smuggling and corruption."

Senators Risa Hontiveros and Leila de Lima had said Faeldon no longer deserves the trust of the people because of the controversies that hounded him in his past posts.

In August 2017, Faeldon left his post as chief of the Bureau of Customs amid the controversy over the P6.4-billion drug haul from China that slipped past the authorities.

In December of the same year, President Rodrigo Duterte appointed Faeldon as Deputy Administrator III of the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) under the Department of Defense.

Sanchez case

On Monday's Senate hearing, Faeldon said he will not resign from his post and said he would defer to the appointing authority.

He also steered clear from the Sanchez controversy, saying he only signed the memorandum order, but not the release order of the former Calauan mayor.

He also admitted meeting with the family of Sanchez in July, but denied giving them reassurance of the convict's release.

Documents obtained by GMA News, however, showed that Faeldon signed Sanchez's release order.

According to the document, the release order was for an inmate named Antonio Leyva Sanchez, "who was found to have served 40 years upon retroactive application of RA No. 10592 and was certified to have no other legal cause to be further detained, shall be released from confinement."

The document was dated August 20, 2019.

Earlier, the family of Sanchez said they have been informed about the former mayor's impending release and was supposed to fetch him at the New Bilibid Prisons.—NB/LDF, GMA News