MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – President Rodrigo Duterte has signed the appointment paper of Nicanor Faeldon as chief of the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor), Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said on Tuesday, November 20.
“Nicanor Faeldon’s appointment papers as director general of the BuCor have been signed by the President and ready for release by the Executive Secretary,” Guevarra told reporters on Tuesday.
Faeldon and Guevarra were off to a rocky start in their working relationship, as the justice secretary had earlier complained that the former was not showing up for work.
“He has not shown up or said anything,” Guevarra said earlier. Guevarra as the justice secretary supervises the BuCor as one of the attached agencies to the Department of Justice.
Faeldon released a statement after, saying there was no appointment to speak of as papers were not signed yet.
The statement had the tune of criticizing Guevarra for prematurely announcing his selection as BuCor chief, and then later publicly calling out Faeldon for not showing up.
“It is Malacañang, and not a Cabinet secretary, which announces official appointments,” said Jose Diño, the lawyer for the former mutineer turned Duterte cabinet member.
Faeldon has jumped from one agency to another in the Duterte administration, first heading the Bureau of Customs but later resigning due to the P6.4 billion smuggled shabu which has subjected him to an ongoing investigation by the Office of the Ombudsman.
Jailed for contempt by the Senate, and disgraced by the scandal, Duterte moved him to the Office of Civil Defense. Now he will replace former police chief Ronald dela Rosa, who had to resign following his filing of candidacy for senator.
The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) had accused Faeldon and other customs officials of the crime of drug importation in relation to attempt at conspiracy and violation of Presidential Decree Number 1829, which penalizes the obstruction of apprehension of criminal offenders.
Duterte has consistently defended Faeldon, saying it was he who pointed the President to the illegal activities of cigarette company Mighty Corporation.
Faeldon will inherit the problem of alleged continuing drug trade inside the New Bilibid Prison and the persistent illness of the national penitentiary which is over-congestion. – With a report from Pia Ranada/Rappler.com