MANILA, Philippines — Former Bureau of Corrections chief Nicanor Faeldon had accordingly tried to channel P1 billion in public funds allocated to a penal farm in his home province of Occidental Mindoro and several prison facilities in the country justice officials told the Senate on Wednesday.
During the plenary session of the Senate, Sen. Juan Edgardo Angara, who spoke on behalf of the Department of Justice (DOJ) as sponsor of the department’s 2020 budget request, confirmed that Faeldon had tried this year to move the heavy amount to Sablayan Prison and Penal Farm in Occidental Mindoro.
For BuCor, a DOJ attached entity, over 20 percent of next year’s P20-billion investment budget, or about P4.2 billion, has been set aside.
During Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon’s interpellation, Angara said Faeldon’s proposal for the realignment of funds hindered the reconstruction and renovation of several BuCor-managed prison complexes.
“(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.
In September, Faeldon was booted out of office on the heels of the controversial release order of ageing heinous convicted convicts, including rapist / murderer and former Calauan, Laguna Mayor Antonio Sanchez, under the time allowance for good conduct.
Drilon said the move by Faeldon was “suspicious” 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 was also forced to evacuate his post as customs chief following another controversy involving P6.4B worth of “shabu” did not pursue his alleged construction plan in Mindoro. (Chris Figueroa/IAMIGO/CNS)