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FACES OF THE NEWS: Sept. 1, 2019

/ 05:45 AM September 01, 2019
FACES OF THE NEWS: Sept. 1, 2019

Illustration by RENE ELEVERA

Nicanor Faeldon

Controversy hounds Nicanor Faeldon wherever he is posted. His latest stint as director general of the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) turned out to be scandal central last week when public outrage broke over the planned early release of rape-murder convict, former Calauan, Laguna, Mayor Antonio Sanchez.

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Faeldon had previously claimed that Sanchez was among the 11,000 national prisoners who may be released early for good conduct under a 2013 law.

But the BuCor chief had to backtrack the next day after it became known that Sanchez had in fact been caught stashing and selling drugs from his cell, and  enjoyed a luxurious stay in prison.

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Pummeled in social media, Faeldon admitted that convicts guilty of heinous crimes are in fact excluded from the good conduct time allowance law, contrary to BuCor practice.

It turns out that 1,914 heinous crime convicts had already been released since 2014.

Despite Sanchez’s family’s avowal, Faeldon denied signing his release papers. A TV report, however, showed otherwise.

Harriet Demetriou

Retired Pasig City Regional Trial Court Judge Harriet Demetriou has urged President Rodrigo Duterte to investigate the attempt to release former Calauan, Laguna, Mayor Antonio Sanchez from prison.

She had sentenced Sanchez to seven 40-year terms for the 1993 rape-slay of Eileen Sarmenta and the murder of fellow University of the Philippines Los Baños student Allan Gomez.

Demetriou said Bureau of Corrections chief Nicanor Faeldon and other prison officials had encouraged Sanchez to apply for good conduct time allowance when he was not even qualified, having been convicted of heinous crimes.

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The former judge also pointed out that even if the President had already declared that Sanchez would not be released, Faeldon and other prison officials should still be held accountable for using the law to favor Sanchez.

Congress, she added, should “grill” Faeldon; presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo, Sanchez’s former lawyer; and Sen. Ronald dela Rosa, who had said that the convicted mayor should be given a second chance.

“Let the truth come out,” Demetriou said.

 

Alden Richards

Alden Richards proved to be the ultimate “oppa” (Korean for older brother)  when he bagged the Asian Star Prize at the 14th Seoul International Drama Awards on Wednesday.

The awards, simply known as SDA, is an annual ceremony based in South Korea that honors excellence in television drama productions worldwide.

Richards looked dashing as he walked on the same red carpet that Korean stars, among them Ji Chang-wook, Kim Nam-gil and Jang Na-ra, had walked on.

Reading his speech from his phone, Richards said: “As a Filipino, I am very humbled and grateful to be recognized in the international scene along with so many amazing and talented artists here tonight. This award is also extra special because it comes at a time when we are celebrating 70 years of friendship between the Philippines and Korea … As actors, it is always our hope to make more people happy and inspire them with our passion.”

Richards’ blockbuster movie with Kathryn Bernardo, “Hello, Love, Goodbye,” is set to premiere in South Korea this month.

Boris Johnson

After being named prime minister only 39 days ago, Boris Johnson faced the first challenge to his leadership when he asked Queen Elizabeth II last week to prorogue, or discontinue, a session of Parliament for the first time in 22 years.

While it is normal to ask the monarch to suspend Parliament to set out a new legislative agenda, Johnson’s timing couldn’t be worse.

Critics see it as a move to prevent debate over Brexit—Johnson’s plan to leave the European Union — without an exit plan. The issue has sharply divided Britons into leavers and remainers.

But even those who wish to remain with the European Union no longer want to return to the old relationship as it was, while many leavers — diverse they may be in motivation — still feel deeply about leaving the bloc, which the United Kingdom joined in 1973.

On Friday, Johnson said Britons had already decided to leave the European Union even without a deal worked out before the Oct. 31 deadline.

The suspension, he said, gave him more time to work on his agenda with the new government. Critics remain skeptical.

Bong Revilla

After being acquitted of plunder charges although he has yet to return P124.5 million in public funds as ordered by the Sandiganbayan, Sen. Bong Revilla is back in the news.

This time, for trying to block a move by his colleagues to allow detained Sen. Leila de Lima to participate in the chamber’s proceedings via teleconferencing.

He had not enjoyed the same privilege when he was locked up for plunder, Revilla said. Allowing De Lima to join the proceedings, even remotely, would be a form of special treatment and has no basis in Senate rules, added the senator who was once caught using a mobile phone in his cell, a privilege denied De Lima.

Revilla also noted that the Senate leadership during his detention had said that his and two other detained lawmakers’ absence would have no impact on legislation.

Well, neither should De Lima’s, Revilla said of the opposition lawmaker who has been detained for almost two years now on drug charges based mainly on the testimonies of convicted drug felons.

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TAGS: Alden Richards, Bong Revila, Boris Johnson, Faces of the News, Harriet Demetriou, Nicanor Faeldon, Ramon Revilla Jr.
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