MANILA - Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) chief Nicanor Faeldon's continued service in government mars the seriousness of President Rodrigo Duterte's war on drugs, a senator said Saturday after documents showed the agency chief had freed several drug lords.
Three drug convicts were released early from the Palawan Penal Colony in April for their supposed good conduct while in prison, while 4 others were set free from the national penitentiary ahead of the end of their sentence for the same reasons.
Lacson earlier said that nearly 2,000 heinous crime convicts, including 48 drug traffickers, have been released from prison.
"It is the biggest irony that while the government has spent so much time, energy and resources to build up intelligence, gather evidence leading to the arrest of big time drug traffickers... here is Faeldon and whoever else was responsible by the stroke of their pens would release at least 48 drug convicts out of the 1,914 heinous crime convicts under questionable circumstances," Lacson said in a statement.
Under the law, a convict may be released earlier than his original prison sentence if he or she exhibits good conduct while in jail. The policy is not applicable to those who committed heinous crimes like rape and drug trafficking.
This is under the good conduct time allowance (GCTA) system, which was expanded in 2013 to include detention time.
Controversy over the system arose over the reported early release of former Calauan, Laguna Mayor Antonio Sanchez, who was sentenced to 7 reclusion perpetua terms (40 years each) for the 1993 rape-slay of Eileen Sarmenta and killing of her companion Allan Gomez.
"If the President does not take drastic action on this latest caper of an official who was recycled in spite of questionable actions committed in his previous assignments... we should start thinking if there is seriousness in this administration’s much touted war against drugs and corruption," said Lacson, a former national police chief.
Lacson had been slamming Duterte's decision to "recycle" Faeldon despite several controversies taking place under his watch. Faeldon, a former Marine captain who led failed mutinies against the Arroyo administration, was first assigned as chief of the Bureau of Customs.
In 2017, Lacson alleged that Faeldon received a P107-million "welcome gift" when he assumed the Customs helm.
It was under Faeldon's watch when some billions worth of shabu slipped past port inspections.
Faeldon denied Lacson's allegations and accused the senator's son of involvement in cement smuggling.