MANILA (UPDATE)—President Rodrigo Duterte said on Friday he still trusts former Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) chief Nicanor Faeldon, whom he sacked last Wednesday.
"Si Faeldon, mabuting tao yan. I still believe in him," Duterte said during a groundbreaking ceremony in Naga City, Cebu.
(Faeldon's a good man. I still believe in him.)
The President cited an instance in which Faeldon reportedly informed him of 3 warehouses containing cigarette packs with fake certified stamps.
"Si Faeldon ang nagsabi sa akin na, 'Sir, meron diyan.' Kung tumahimik lang siya noon, humingi sya, he could have made millions," Duterte said.
(Faeldon told me 'Sir, there are contrabands there.' If he didn't report that or asked for a bribe, he could have made millions.)
Duterte fired Faeldon after the latter approved the release of several heinous-crime convicts based on the good conduct time allowance (GCTA) law, making inmates eligible for early release based on good behavior.
Faeldon came under fire after news surfaced that the BuCor had approved convicted rapist-killer Antonio Sanchez's release based on good conduct while in prison.
He admitted he signed an order that supposedly started the processing of the former Calauan town mayor's release, but insisted he had no choice but to follow Republic Act 10592, the 2013 law which increased GCTA to cover detention time.
Faeldon, a military rebel during the Arroyo administration, has been an ally of Duterte even before the latter became president.
—With a report from Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News