Manila: The head of the country’s correctional service was ordered sacked by President Rodrigo Duterte for disobeying the latter’s order to put on hold the release of inmates while the government conducts a review of the cases.
1,700number of heinous crime convicts who were ordered by President Rodrigo Duterte to surrender in the Philippines after they were freed earlier.
Nicanor Faeldon, Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) Director General, was sacked by the President on Wednesday evening in the wake of a dragging controversy over an order for the early release of some 22,000 prisoners including more than 2,000 inmates convicted for rape and murder.
He had told me before that he was placing his destiny in my hands. Now is the time. I said you violated instructions.
“He had told me before that he was placing his destiny in my hands. Now is the time. I said you violated instructions,” the President said in a televised palace press briefing.
Duterte had, minutes before, called on Faeldon to resign.
This came after a Congress investigation showed serious lapses committed by the BuCor in allowing the release of prisoners including those facing serious crimes.
“He should have echoed my order to him. No releases until further notice by higher authority. Higher authority,” the President said while pointing out that the reason for putting on hold the releases were the severe criticisms from the public over the order.
Duterte had approved the release of prisoners on the basis of the Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) law last month.
This particular law allows prisoners who had meet the BuCor’s standards on good conduct to be released even if they have not fully served their sentence.
Duterte said there was an apparent haste for Faeldon to have certain prisoners released.
“No releases. If he [Faeldon] said that, there would have been no problem. But what he did was that, he tried to justify their computation of the GCTA.
“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.
At the same time, the President told the 1,700 heinous crime convicts who were facing serious crimes but was ordered released under the GCTA last month, to surrender to the nearest police or military stations within 15 days.
“I will give you 15 days liberty provided you make yourself available anytime that you will be called for investigation to have a re-computation or if there’s an investigation of corruption that you cooperate fully,” he said.
A decorated marine captain who took part in the 2003 Oakwood Mutiny in Makati City, Faeldon spent years as a fugitive from law. He was appointed by Duterte as customs chief, but was appointed to head the BuCor only this year.