Duterte’s continuing trust of Faeldon shocks Chiongs

By: Dale Israel - Inquirer Visayas - Inquirer Visayas | September 07,2019 - 03:28 PM

Thelma Chiong and her husband, Dionisio, have to stay outside the tent in Barangay Inoburan, Naga City, Cebu where President Duterte delivered a speech since they were not in the guest list. They went to Naga to thank the President for ordering the arrest of the convicts released under the Good Conduct Time Allowance Law but were disappointed that Mr. Duterte was all praises for sacked Bureau of Corrections chief, Nicanor Faeldon. Photo by Dale Israel, Inquirer Visayas

CEBU CITY — The admission of President Duterte that he continued to trust former Bureau of Corrections chief Nicanor Faeldon shocked the parents of rape-slay victims Marijoy and Jacqueline Chiong.

Thelma Chiong said they were so stunned by Mr. Duterte’s statement that they didn’t finish the speech of the President in Barangay Inoburan, Naga City on Friday during the groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of permanent houses of those affected by last year’s landslide that killed dozens of people.

“I was shocked by the President’s speech. After he sacked Faeldon, he was all praises for Faeldon (during his speech) in Naga,” said Thelma.

“Nagwalk out na ako (I walked out) from the beginning sa praises niya kay Faeldon. Maraming galit kay Faeldon at isa na ako diyan (Many are angry at Faeldon and I’m one of them),” she added.

Thelma, along with her husband Dionisio, traveled all the way to Naga, about 20 km south of Cebu City, to thank the President for firing Faeldon and ordering the arrest of convicts of heinous crimes who were released under the Good Conduct Time Allowance Law.

Three of the seven men convicted for the rape-slay of their two daughters – Marijoy and Jacqueline – were released under the GCTA law.

The Chiong couple had been seeking for the arrest of Josman Aznar, Ariel Balansag and Alberto Caño who should finish their two life terms along with four others.

The Chiong couple, however, stayed outside the venue since they were not allowed to stay inside the tent where the President spoke since their names were not in the list.

Only 500 people were allowed to get inside.

Interviewed by the Inquirer prior to the speech of President Duterte, Thelma said they only wanted to thank the President “from (the bottom of) my heart.”

“We want to thank the President for having fired Faeldon and for ordering the arrest of convicts over good conduct. We’re very grateful to the President. Nakuhaan ug tunok akong kasingkasing (A thorn had been removed from my heart),” she said.

But the elation turned into disappointment when President Duterte admitted that Faeldon continued to enjoy his trust and called him an “upright man (tarong na taw) despite being embroiled in controversies while in the Bureau of Customs and in BuCor.

“I still believe in him (Faeldon). It was him who informed me about some smuggled cigarettes. Because of that report, we (the nation) earn P37 billion,” he said in a speech.

In May 2017, Faeldon was then the Customs commissioner when he drew flak after a P6.4-billion worth of shabu were smuggled into the country through the Manila International Container Port.

Just recently, Faeldon was again involved in another mess over the release of convicts at the National Bilibid Prisons over good conduct.

Last Wednesday, President Duterte fired Faeldon.

Thelma said the President should not have spoken about Faeldon who had freed a lot of criminals in the death row.

“I am a Duterte fan. I had fought against a lot of people because I am for Duterte. For him to defend Faeldon because he is his friend, the President should not have spoken about him,” she said.

“Faeldon has freed a lot of criminals in the death row. We have a lot of criminals here involved in several killings that happened every day. Now he has freed those (at the National Penitentiary) in Muntinlupa. That is not good. That is not justice,”she added.

Despite their disappointment, Thelma said they remained thankful to the President for ordering the return of the freed convicts to the New Bilibid Prison.

She added they were also able to talk with Sen. Christopher “Bong” Go, a close ally of the President, who assured them that the government would return the Chiong convicts to jail. /lzb


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