BUREAU of Corrections (BuCor) Director General Nicanor Faeldon may be charged with criminal and administrative cases because of his alleged order not to submit the good conduct time allowance (GCTA) records of convicts to the Department of Justice (DOJ).
Members of the House Committee on Justice learned of Faeldon’s order from Superintendent Melencio Faustino, head of the Davao Penal Farm, who testified during yesterday’s public hearing at the House of Representatives.
Faeldon failed to attend the congressional hearing on the review of provisions concerning GCTA.
With his alleged order Faeldon has found himself in deep trouble and there is a substantial reason to recommend the filing of criminal and administrative cases against the official, lawmakers said.
According to Faustino, Faeldon had directed them not to submit to the DOJ the GCTA records of convicts applying for early release despite their life prison terms.
Faustino made the revelation under intense questioning by lawmakers led by Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez and chairman of the committee Vicente Veloso.
“That gives us now the revelation that Faeldon has directed them not to follow the department order itself. If it was followed, none of these heinous crime convicts would have been released,” Rodriguez said.
Faustino represented Faeldon who failed to show up at the Lower House briefing in order to attend the Senate Committee on Justice inquiry into the same GCTA controversy.
Cautioning Faustino to think carefully before answering his question, Rodriguez asked the BuCor official why Department Order No. 935 that directed Bucor to submit to the Department of Justice all appeals for early release and applications of GCTA of convicts serving life sentences was not followed.
The directive was issued by now Supreme Court Associate Justice Benjamin Caguioa during his term as secretary of justice.
“Because there is a department order that you are required to submit the records of those who are meted out imprisonment of reclusion perpetua to the secretary for his approval of early release or GCTA application, may we know why you didn’t follow the department order?” Rodriguez askedp.
“Yes, your honor, we are remiss in our duty to transmit,” Faustino responded.
He added: “Our director general ordered us not to transmit to anyone.”
The BuCor official then explained that Faeldon issued the order because the bureau “was saddled by several cases filed in court and we have very limited number” of personnel.
Rodriguez said Faustino’s admission opens the embattled Faeldon to both criminal and administrative charges for defying the DOJ directive.
Veloso, a retired associate justice of the Court of Appeals, aired the possibility that the justice panel might recommend the filing of graft charges against Faeldon.
Rodriguez, who is one of the authors of the Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) law, insisted that Faeldon should be held liable for the early release of criminals convicted of heinous crimes.
“He is liable. As far as I see the clear spirit and intent of the law is that they should not release heinous crimes,” said Rodriguez.
Section 1 of the GCTA law or the Republic Act (RA) No. 10592 Rodriguez said states that: “Persons charged with heinous crimes are excluded from the coverage.”
Rodriguez said Faeldon allegedly failed to “harmonize the law.” “There should have been no release and absolutely no release of those involved in heinous crimes,” said Rodriguez, adding that other BuCor officials could be charged administratively and criminally.
With Ryan Ponce Pacpaco