Just trust Duterte on Faeldon - Palace
Malacañang urged on Monday the public to just trust President Rodrigo Duterte if he would appoint sacked Bureau of Corrections chief Nicanor Faeldon in another government post.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo made the statement after Duterte admitted that he still trusts Faeldon despite the release of several inmates who were convicted of heinous crimes under the law on good conduct time allowance.
"If the President appoints him, we need to trust him on that," he said in a press briefing.
Thelma Chiong, mother of 1997 rape-slay victims Marijoy and Jacqueline Chiong, was one of those who criticized Duterte for still trusting Faeldon.
The three convicted killers of the Chiong sisters were among the about 2,000 inmates who were freed under the GCTA law. But two of them have surrendered after Duterte warned the GTCA beneficiaries to yield to authorities or face a manhunt.
Panelo advised Chiong's mother to monitor the ongoing Senate inquiry into the GCTA issue.
"And it appears that the corruption is on the lower level. From what I can see from the testimonies that I have heard so far," he said.
Asked why Duterte kept on appointing Faeldon in government, Panelo said, "He (Duterte) believes him. The President really wants a very honest man."
Panelo expressed the belief that despite Duterte's favorable statement with Faeldon, the investigation being conducted by the Ombudsman against the former BuCor chief and other officials in the agency would not be affected.
"That does not mean anything. It’s a personal statement of the President because he knows him personally and the Ombudsman will never be influenced nor intimidated knowing the Ombudsman Sammy Martires. His reputation is solid. He will go about his work as the constitution directs him to do," he said.
Panelo reiterated that Duterte still believes Faeldon because the latter was instrumental in collecting nearly P40 billion from a cigarette manufacturer which was engaged in illegal activities when he was head of the Bureau of Customs.
Faeldon was removed from BuCor due to P6.4 billion worth of illegal drugs smuggling controversy.
Duterte later appointed him as deputy administrator at the Office of Civil Defense and in October 2018 named him as head of the BuCor. Celerina Monte/DMS