Why does Duterte keep on appointing Faeldon? ‘Bilib sa kanya,’ says Panelo

By: Darryl John Esguerra - INQUIRER.net September 09,2019 - 03:44 PM

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.

READ:Duterte still trusts Faeldon: he is an ‘upright man’

READ:Chiongs shocked at Duterte’s continuing trust in 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.”

READ:Witness tells Senate: Freedom comes with a price tag in Bilibid

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.

He was then transferred to the Office of Civil Defense as deputy administrator for operations in December 2017 until October 2018; and then to the Bureau of Corrections as Director-General in November 2018. /kga

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