Bong Go says ‘heads will roll’ in Sanchez release controversy

Aika Rey
Bong Go says ‘heads will roll’ in Sanchez release controversy

'Ibig sabihin ni Pangulong Duterte, managot ang dapat managot, including the top to bottom [officials],' says the senator

MANILA, Philippines – “Definitely heads will roll,” said Senator Christopher “Bong” Go, when asked what the President thinks about the now-botched release of rape and murder convict Antonio Sanchez.

In a media interview on Monday, September 2, Go said that the President will launch an investigation whether there was corruption involved in awarding early release to inmates.

“Nagkausap kami ni Pangulo kagabi. Sinabi po ‘nya papa-imbestigahan ‘nya. Wala pa siyang nabanggit sa akin [sino ang mag-iimbestiga] pero unang-una sabi nga ‘nya, mananagot ang dapat managot,” Go told reporters.

(The President and I talked last night. He said that he will have this investigated. He hasn’t told me who will lead the investigation but he said first that those responsible should be held accountable.)

Asked whether Bureau of Corrections chief Nicanor Faeldon should be replaced, Go did not categorically say yes: “Ibig sabihin ni Pangulong Duterte, managot ang dapat managot, including the top to bottom [officials].”

(When the President said that those responsible should be held accountable, it includes from top to bottom [officials].)

Faeldon was at the center of the good conduct time allowance law controversy, as it was revealed that Sanchez was among the 11,000 inmates supposedly granted early release. Faeldon denied signing any release order, but admitted that he issued a “memorandum” of release instead.

At the hearing, Faeldon said that he stopped the release after public outcry. He denied that money was involved in the awarding of reduced prison time. (READ: Good conduct time allowance may be for sale inside Bilibid – Hontiveros)

Not only Faeldon

The long-time aide of the President also said that it’s not only Faeldon who erred in this controversy.

“May pananagutan po, not only Faeldon but kung sino ang dinaanan ng papel…Lahat ng pumirma ay dapat managot. Bakit nila pinayagang i-release ang mga heinous crimes?” Go added.

(Someone should be held accountable, not only Faeldon but everyone to whom the paper was routed. All those who sgned should be responsible. Why did they allow those who committed heinous crimes to be released?)

Apart from the BuCor chief, Corrections Technical chief Superintendent Maria Fe Marquez was also dragged in the controversy as she was the one who signed the release order of the 3 convicts in the 1997 Chiong sisters murder case. 

Go said that he was disappointed not only in Faeldon, but the “system that he let prevail” in the BuCor.

Lawmakers had quipped that wherever Faeldon goes, trouble follows.

Faeldon was recycled twice by the President. He first served the Duterte administration as chief of the Bureau of Customs, where he was accused by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency of involvement in the P6.4-billion shabu smuggling controversy.

In 2017, he was appointed deputy administrator III of the Office of Civil Defense. In October 2018, Faeldon succeeded now-Senator Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa as director-general of BuCor. (LIST: No to corruption? Duterte’s controversial reappointees)

Asked whether the President still trusts Faeldon, Go said that it’s up to him (Duterte) to answer but that: “Sa takbo ngayon, medyo papanagutin po ni Pangulong Duterte.” (It seems now that President Duterte will hold him responsible.) –

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Aika Rey

Aika Rey is a business reporter for Rappler. She covered the Senate of the Philippines before fully diving into numbers and companies. Got tips? Find her on Twitter at @reyaika or shoot her an email at