“Faeldon has to go because Faeldon disobeyed my order,” Duterte said in a televised speech.
“He [Faeldon] said he was placing his destiny on my hands. Now here’s the time [for him to resign],” Duterte said.
The President said that he had ordered Faeldon—through his trusted aide and now Senator Christopher Go—to stop the release of inmates convicted of heinous crimes.
READ: Faeldon made a mess of 'good conduct' law—Gordon
“He should have echoed my orders to him. No releases... What he did the following day was he tried to justify their computation which might be correct but the problem was there was a fire burning,” Duterte said.
When asked by reporters, he did not categorically state if he will reappoint Faeldon to another government position.
“Given his history, what will you do?” Duterte asked reporters.
Faeldon used to be the Bureau of Customs chief but he stepped down after millions of pesos worth of shabu slipped through the ports. Duterte later reappointed him to BuCor.
Duterte also refused to say if Faeldon still has his trust and confidence.
He ordered the almost 2,000 inmates convicted of heinous crimes released under the Republic Act 10592, a law that cuts prison time for good behavior, to surrender.
“All of those who were convicted and released under the law, 1,700 of you, you surrender and have yourself registered to BuCor. I will give you 15 days liberty provided you make yourself available anytime that you will called for investigation to have a recomputation or if there’s an investigation of corruption that you cooperate fully,” he said.
“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, I will surrender to the nearest police or military detachment wherever you are now,” he added.
He also said those who implemented the law will be investigated by the Ombudsman, including former BuCor chief and now Senator Ronald dela Rosa.
Under Dela Rosa’s leadership, 120 heinous crime convicts were also released due to Good Conduct Time Allowance, including a prisoner who was jailed because of illegal drugs.
“With Faeldon out, I am ordering all that has opportunity in BuCor to report to me and the secretary of Justice. In the meantime, I will not suspend them. They will be investigated by the Ombudsman,” he said.
Duterte’s order came amid the public outrage over the possible release of convicted murderer and rapist Antonio Sanchez.
A Senate inquiry was also conducted on Monday and Tuesday to scrutinize the law which revealed that three of seven convicts in the 1993 high-profile rape and murder of the Chiong sisters case were released due to the law.
“And all consequences connected with this decision will be mine and mine alone. I am ready to be investigated and I’m ready for an impeachment. And I’m ready to resign if warranted. But that is my decision and that is mine and mine alone,” he added.
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra relayed to him that prisoners who were released based “on a wrongful interpretation or a faulty construction of the law” can be arrested anytime because the order is null and void.
Earlier, calls for Faeldon to resign snowballed in the Senate.
Senator Francis Pangilinan said Faeldon should either quit his post or be removed as BuCor chief as he is avoiding responsibility and accountability, especially in the controversial Sanchez case.
Pangilinan noted that Faeldon had made several excuses when confronted with several highly-contested acts.
In the end, Pangilinan said Faeldon admitted that he signed Sanchez’s release order. He also gave conflicting statements regarding his meetings with the Sanchez family before his scheduled release from the New Bilibid Prison.
“He admitted that he ordered the release despite the absence of approval from the DOJ [Department of Justice],” said Pangilinan while referring to Faeldon’s testimony during the hearing on the implementation of the GCTA.
Pangilinan said Faeldon should own up to his mistakes and resign, recalling that his stint at Customs was also marred by controversies.
“He was a failure at the BOC, and a failure at BuCor. This government should be ashamed and fire Faeldon and file a case against him,” Pangilinan said in Filipino.
“His stints in Customs and now in BuCor were associated with drug smuggling and corruption,” Senator Joel Villanueva said in a text message. He said he hoped Faeldon would have the decency to realize he is ineffective and slowly becoming the epitome of the government’s failure to address corruption.
“He should permanently be dumped and not recycled,” he added.
Senator Manny Pacquiao, on the other hand, said Faeldon can spare the President and this administration the embarrassment by taking a leave of absence.
On his Twitter account, Senator Panfilo Lacson said “neither cleansing nor detoxification can cure the Bureau of Corrections. Let’s try evisceration. It might work.”
Senate President Vicente Sotto III said they will see in Thursday’s hearing if they can uncover the truth about reports that millions of pesos changed hands in the release of inmates on good conduct.
“Yes, we have intelligence reports [about the millions involved], which I already shared with Senator Lacson,” Sotto told reporters in an ambush interview.
He also said he has asked the Justice department to suspend and change the implementing rules and regulations of the GCTA Law.
Senate Majority Leader Miguel Zubiri, meanwhile, suggested a special prison in the mold of Alcatraz, for inmates convicted of heinous crimes.
He said having an Alcatraz-like prison would keep the public safe.
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