Up to Duterte if Faeldon will be given another government post, Palace says
Then-Bureau of Corrections chief Nicanor Faeldon at the Senate blue ribbon hearing into the release of heinous crime convicts under the GCTA law on Sept. 2, 2019.
The STAR/Mong Pintolo

Up to Duterte if Faeldon will be given another government post, Palace says

Alexis Romero (Philstar.com) - September 8, 2019 - 5:36pm

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte can appoint dismissed Bureau of Corrections chief Nicanor Faeldon to another post if he wants to, Malacañang said Sunday.

Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said Duterte is still convinced that Faeldon, who is facing controversy over the early release of high-profile heinous crime convicts for supposed good conduct, has a clean record.

"The president fired him because of not following his order... not because of corruption. That's the point of the president. There is corruption inside so everybody might think that he was being fired for that. That's not the case," Panelo said in a radio interview.

"It appears that there's a lot of corruption below but with regard to the high levels, as far as the president is concerned, his record is still clean," he added.

READ: Faeldon on Duterte's order to resign: I bow to my president's command

Asked if Duterte would reappoint Faeldon to another position, Panelo replied: "That's the call of the president, if he wants him appointed to another position."

"The president has the discretion to appoint anyone. What the president said was he won't appoint corrupt people. The president has stated his position on two points. He (Faeldon) is not corrupt. So the logical consequence is he can be appointed if the President wants it," he added.

Panelo said Duterte's remark that Faeldon is not corrupt would not preempt the ombudsman's investigation on the alleged irregularities in the implementation of the good conduct time allowance law.

"The ombudsman does not side with anyone. If the ombudsman says you will be investigated, you would really be investigated... If there is probable cause, cases will be filed," he added.

READ: Duterte's anti-corruption commission will probe GCTA controversy

Faeldon and other BuCor officials are being investigated over the discharge of high-profile inmates for good behavior under the GCTA law. The law, which took effect in 2013, does not cover convicts guilty of heinous crimes.

Faeldon has denied ordering Sanchez's release but admitted signing a "memorandum of release starting the process of the release of any person deprived of liberty."

It was not the first time Faeldon became the center of a controversy. Two years ago, he resigned as Customs chief as he was under fire over the entry of P6.4 billion worth of shabu in the country. 

READ: Excluded from GCTA or not? Why Sanchez's release was 'a possibility'

Last Wednesday, Duterte ordered the immediate resignation of Faeldon for disobeying his order not to release convicts who displayed good conduct “until further notice by higher authorities.”

The president, however, did not give a categorical answer when asked whether he would reappoint the former corrections chief to another post.  

Two days later, the president said he still believes in Faeldon, describing him as "an upright person."

READ: 76 heinous crime convicts freed under GCTA surrender ahead of deadline

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