Ex-BuCor chief Faeldon defends P1-B budget realignment request
MANILA, Philippines — Former Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) chief Nicanor Faeldon on Wednesday defended his request for the realignment of a P1 billion budget for the construction and rehabilitation of regional prison facilities in several provinces, to the province of Mindoro.
Faeldon said he made the request in response to President Rodrigo Duterte’s order for the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) to be transferred.
The former BuCor chief said the nearest BuCor facilities to Muntinlupa is in Sablayan, Occidental Mindoro.
He also explained that the facility in Sablayan has a size of 7000 hectares, larger than the 600-hectare space in Leyte and other locations.
“Instead na isiksik natin sa Leyte na 600 hectares lang, at tsaka iba pang lugar na pagdadalhan, ilagay natin sa lugar na malaki,” Faeldon said in an interview on DZMM.
(Instead of squeezing it in the 600-hectare space in Leyte and other locations, let’s transfer to a larger location.)
Faeldon added that most of those detained in Muntinlupa are from Luzon, who would not like to be transferred to Visayas and Mindanao.
“So ni-request natin ‘yan sa Senate na instead na chop-chopin mo ng tatlong lugar ay ilagay na muna natin sa Sablayan para ‘yung transfer, relocation ng Bilibid ay madala na sa Sablayan kasi taga-Luzon ‘yan lahat,” Faeldon said.
(We requested before the Senate that instead of dividing the budget in three locations, let us allocate it for now to Sablayan so that the transfer and relocation of the Bilibid can be done in Sablayan since most of the detainees are from Luzon.)
The former BuCor chief also said that another reason he provided in his request was management and manpower efficiency.
Faeldon said that if the budget will be divided into several areas, only small shanties will be constructed and setting up of security system would be harder.
“Pero kung gagawin mo siyang one building, mas madali ‘yung management. Manpower efficient siya kasi isang compound lang siya kaysa naman marami siyang maliliit [na building],” Faeldon said.
(But if you will construct one building, management will be easier. It is manpower-efficient because it is only one compound instead of constructing smaller buildings.)
The request for realignment, Faeldon said, was not approved.
‘Not from Occidental Mindoro’
The former BuCor chief is back in the headlines after his name was brought up during the Senate deliberations on the proposed 2020 budget of the Department of Justice (DOJ).
BuCor is under the jurisdiction of the DOJ.
Senator Sonny Angara, who defended the budget of the DOJ, said that the P1 billion allocation for the construction and rehabilitation of regional facilities in Palawan, Davao, Leyte, Zamboanga and the Correctional Institution for Women have yet to be released.
When Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon asked why the budget has yet to be released, Angara disclosed the request sent by Faeldon to the Finance Committee.
Later, Drilon questioned Faeldon’s motive behind the move, saying that it might be related to the sacked BuCor chief’s previous plans to run for office in Mindoro.
But Faeldon said he is from Calapan, which is in Oriental Mindoro.
“‘Yung sinabing lugar ko ay hindi naman po talaga ako taga-roon. Occidental Mindoro yung Sablayan, napakalayo nun sa Calapan. Sa Oriental ako. Hindi po ako naging residente kahit minsan sa Occidental,” Faeldon argued.
(I am not from there. Sablayan is in Occidental Mindoro, which is far from Calapan. I am from Oriental Mindoro. I have never been a resident of Occidental Mindoro.)
“So ang insinuation ay mayroon akong motibo na dahli yung proyekto sa Occidental, kasi taga-doon ako. Wala pong katotohanan,” he added.
(The insinuation is I have a motive since the project is in Occidental Mindoro because I was supposedly from there. That is not true.)
He advised senators to “see and read with sincerity the reasons stipulated in the letter [of request].”
“That is their job—ng mga pulitiko—dalhin yung project sa kanilang mga distrito sa kanilang lugar, e trabaho po nila yun. Pero hindi naman ako pulitiko,” Faeldon said.
(That is the job of the politicians to bring projects to their districts. But I am not a politician.)
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