SEN. Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao on Wednesday advised Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) Director General Nicanor Faeldon to go on leave of absence and spare President Rodrigo Duterte and his administration from embarrassment.
“Besides, the President is unnecessarily dragged into this whole mess being the appointing authority. If Undersecretary Faeldon truly respects the President, he must do the right thing. I’m pretty sure everything will work out for him in the end,” Pacquiao said.
Pacquiao said Faeldon should take a leave-of-absence while facing investigation on allegations of favoritism and corruption in the commutation of stiff sentences of many convicts, including former Calauan, Laguna mayor Antonio Sanchez and Chinese drug lords.
Senators tried to get answers during the past two days of public hearing from Faeldon and other prison officials for their alleged abuse on the application of Republic Act 10592, which grants the early release of prisoners on the basis of the Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) law or good behavior.
They said those who were convicted of heinous crimes must not be pardoned under the GCTA law.
Sen. Panfilo Lacson said Faeldon was clearly lying when he denied granting parole to Sanchez by stating that he only signed a memorandum of release but that the actual release was done by the prison superintendent.
Although Pacquiao said he still fully believed in the integrity and honesty of Faeldon, the raging controversy on the release of hardcore convicts like Sanchez demanded his full and undivided attention, especially in attending ongoing investigations by the Senate and the House of Representatives.
Pacquiao said that Faeldon needed to show that he was ready and willing to help Congress in getting into the bottom of this controversy. JAVIER JOE ISMAEL