Angara: Faeldon wanted P1B in prison funds diverted to Mindoro home province
Former Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) Chief Nicanor Faeldon had wanted to funnel P1 billion in public funds earmarked for several prison facilities in the country to a penal farm in his home province of Occidental Mindoro, justice officials told the Senate on Wednesday.
Sen. Juan Edgardo Angara, who spoke on behalf of the Department of Justice (DOJ) as sponsor of its budget request for 2020, admitted during the Senate plenary deliberations that Faeldon had attempted to transfer the hefty sum to Sablayan Prison and Penal Farm in Occidental Mindoro this year.
More than 20 percent of the justice department’s P20-billion spending program for next year, or about P4.2 billion, has been set aside for BuCor, an attached agency of the DOJ.
During the interpellation by Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon, Angara said Faeldon’s request for fund realignment delayed the repair and rehabilitation of several prison complexes being managed by BuCor.
“[Faeldon] wrote the committee asking for realignment. We told him it is not proper because it is already part of the General Appropriations Act … and to realign that item, you would need an amendment to the law,” Angara said in reply to Drilon’s query.
“Faeldon has absolutely no business asking for realignment … That’s terrible,” Drilon said, adding that only lawmakers can realign the funds originally allotted for the rehabilitation of the Correctional Institute for Women in Mandaluyong City and the penal colonies in Palawan, Davao, Leyte and Zamboanga provinces.
Faeldon was fired in September over his controversial release order of heinous crime convicts, among them rapist/murderer and former Calauan, Laguna Mayor Antonio Sanchez, under the good conduct time allowance.
Drilon said Faeldon’s move was “suspect” and “politically motivated.”
In September last year, the President revealed that Faeldon, then deputy administrator of the Office of Civil Defense, had “expressed his desire to run for governor” in Occidental Mindoro.
But Faeldon, who quit his post as customs chief after being implicated in the smuggling of P6.4 billion worth of “shabu” (crystal meth) in 2017, did not push through with his supposed plan.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.