Why does Duterte keep on appointing Faeldon? ‘Bilib sa kanya,’ says Panelo
MANILA, Philippines — Despite controversies exploding at almost every agency he was appointed to, President Rodrigo Duterte has kept on hiring Nicanor Faeldon to lead different government offices because he is “honest” and competent.
Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said this Monday after Duterte, just days after firing Faeldon as Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) chief, said he still trusts the former marine whom he even called an “upright man.”
Duterte fired Faeldon following the controversy on the release of heinous crimes convicts on the basis of “good behavior.”
READ: Duterte to Faeldon: You’re fired
“Bilib sa kanya (si Presidente). Hanga sa kanyang … Kasi si Presidente ang gusto niya talagang very honest,” Panelo said in a Palace briefing.
Duterte’s spokesman also asked the parents of rape-slay victims Marijoy and Jacqueline Chiong, whose killers were among those who were freed by the good conduct time allowance (GCTA) law, to “trust the President’s words.”
The Chiongs have expressed their disappointment after Duterte vouched for Faeldon.
Panelo explained that Faeldon earned Duterte’s trust when he uncovered the fake tax stamps used by Mighty Corporation to avoid paying taxes in March 2017 when he was still Bureau of Customs (BOC) chief.
“The smuggling of the Mighty Cigarette would have not been exposed if Mr. Faeldon kept quiet. He could have earned billions because we’re able to get about P37 billion out of that. So I would suggest, trust the President’s words,” Panelo said.
Panelo added that based on the ongoing Senate hearing on GCTA law, it appears that corruption in BuCor is on the “lower level.”
But Panelo, who is also Duterte’s legal counsel, said it is “premature” to say that Duterte will reappoint Faeldon to another government office following his expression of trust to the former BuCor chief.
Faeldon served as BOC chief from June 2016 to August 2017. He was relieved from his post after P6.4 billion worth of illegal drugs entered the country through the Manila International Container Port.
Duterte then appointed him to the Office of Civil Defense, where he served as deputy administrator for operations from December 2017 until October 2018.
Faeldon was then named Director-General of BuCor in November 2018. But Duterte sacked him in the wake of public uproar against the impending release of convicted rapist-murderer, former Calauan Mayor Antonio Sanchez, last September 4. /kga
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