Angara reveals Faeldon asked for realignment of P1-B to Mindoro province
MANILA, Philippines (Updated) — Sacked Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) chief Nicanor Faeldon sought to realign P1 billion, intended for the construction and rehabilitation of regional prison facilities in several provinces, to the province of Mindoro.
The hometown of Faeldon’s wife is in Mindoro province. The former BuCor chief was born in Batanes.
This was revealed during the Senate deliberations on the proposed 2020 budget of the Department of Justice (DOJ) on Wednesday.
BuCor is under the jurisdiction of the DOJ.
It was Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon who asked for the update on the implementation of the construction and rehabilitation of regional facilities in Palawan, Davao, Leyte, Zamboanga and the Correctional Institution for Women.
Drilon noted that P1 billion was appropriated for the construction and rehabilitation under the 2019 General Appropriations Act.
“Napaayos ba natin ang mga ito (Have we rehabilitated these)? The reason why I’m interested in this because this could form the nucleus for regionalization of facilities,” Drilon said.
“For example Palawan, Davao — they are presently already used as prison facilities, an improvement pursuant to the allocation that we made P1 billion could be the starting point for the regionalization of our prison system and decongest our Muntinlupa penitentiary,” he pointed out.
Senator Sonny Angara, who defended the budget of the DOJ, said the P1-billion allocation has not yet been released.
At this point, Drilon questioned why the funds have yet to be released and asked the DOJ to submit a report regarding the matter.
Angara then said he was told that Faeldon had earlier written a letter to the finance committee “asking for the realignment.”
“The previous BuCor head, we are told, wanted to transfer the funds to Sablayan, Mindoro,” he said. The said municipality is home to the Sablayan Prison and Penal Farm.
“But we told him that it’s not proper for the committee to do that because it’s already…a line item in the General Appropriations Act and to realign that item, you would need an amendment of the law, that was our response, your honor,” he added.
“So the then BuCor chief, Mr. Faeldon, who is from Mindoro, asked for the realignment of the capital outlay for Palawan, Davao, Leyte, Zamboanga and the Correctional (Institution) for Women be realigned?…That’s terrible,” Drilon said.
Angara further said that Faeldon’s request to realign the allocation was “the reason why the P1 billion was not released right away.”
Drilon then called on the justice secretary to “officially withdraw” the former BuCor chief’s letter.
“It’s totally uncalled for because that is the policy set by Congress and a BuCor director has no business attempting to realign these funds to his home province,” he said.
The justice chief, through Angara, pledged that he would ask for the release of the said allocation “and implement it the way Congress intended.”
In a series of tweet, Faeldon’s lawyer, Jose Diño Jr., said that the “requested appropriation was for the transfer of the entire NBP (National Bilibid Prison) to the nearest penal colony (Sablayan).”
For Balance – requested appropriation was for the transfer of the entire NBP to the nearest penal colony (Sablayan). This was a proactive response to the perennial issue of over-congestion at the NBP. Former DG Faeldon is NOT from Mindoro. He is from Batanes. @amitalegaspi
— Team Faeldon (@FaeldonLegal) November 20, 2019
“This was a proactive response to the perennial issue of over-congestion at the NBP. Former DG Faeldon is NOT from Mindoro. He is from Batanes,” his tweet further read.
Edited by JE
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