Duterte fires Faeldon for ‘disobeying’ order

Gen. Nicanor Faeldon arrives at the Senate for the GCTA hearing on Monday, September 2. | Inquirer.net photo by Marianne Bermudez

President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday, September 4, fired Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) chief Nicanor Faeldon for disobeying his order not to release convicts supposedly eligible under the Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) law.

“Faeldon has to go because Faeldon disobeyed my order,” he said in a press briefing on Wednesday night.

When asked if he had completely lost his trust and confidence in Faeldon, Duterte answered: “That is a matter between me and Faeldon.”

He also revealed that Faeldon wanted to talk to him, but he declined.

“He should have echoed my order to him. No releases until further notice by higher authority. Higher authority,” Duterte stressed.

According to him, instead of obeying his order, Faeldon attempted to justify the computation of good conduct time allowance that shaved time off the convicts’ sentences.

“I said no releases but what he said was a computation. There was already a fire, and I was trying to provide the fire extinguisher so that the people will not have doubts,” Duterte said.

“No releases. If he said that, there would have been no problem. But what he did was he tried to justify their computation,” he added.

The President also pointed out that Faeldon’s computation based on the GCTA law may be correct, however his no-release order was clear.

“The problem is there was a fire burning. When the President says wait until further orders, that means I’ll be investigating in a jiffy,” Duterte said.

“His problem is, the next day he came up with a statement with his own computation. If he just echoed what I said, there would not have been a problem,” he added.

Faeldon, for his part, said he would comply with Duterte’s order.

“My Commander in Chief/appointing authority has spoken. I am a Marine and a Marine does what he is told. I most humbly bow to my Commander in Chief’s order without any hard feelings,” he said in a statement.

Ombudsman investigation

Duterte said he will have the other BuCor officials and the committee responsible for allowing the release of the 1,700 heinous crimes convicts investigated under the Office of the Ombudsman.

“I will not suspend them but they will be investigated… They will go straight to the Ombudsman. This is a prima facie case. There’s an admission that they were remiss in their duties,” he said.

Duterte also wanted the convicts released to surrender themselves and register with the BuCor so that their records could be investigated and recomputed.

“I will give you 15 days liberty provided you make yourself available anytime that you will be called for investigation to have a recomputation or if there’s an investigation of corruption that you cooperate fully,” he said.

He added that those who will refuse to surrender will be treated as fugitives.

“If you do not, then beginning at this hour, you are a fugitive from justice. And you will be treated as a criminal who is evading the law and well you know things can go wrong. If I were you, you surrender to the nearest police or military detachment wherever you are now,” Duterte said. 

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