Ombudsman’s GCTA probe covers ex-BuCor chiefs Faeldon, Dela Rosa

Mara Cepeda
Ombudsman’s GCTA probe covers ex-BuCor chiefs Faeldon, Dela Rosa
Deputy Minority Leader Carlos Zarate extracts the confirmation from the Office of the Ombudsman as it defended its proposed 2020 budget in the House plenary

MANILA, Philippines – The Ombudsman has confirmed that its investigation into alleged anomalies in the grant of good conduct time allowance (GCTA) to prisoners also covers former Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) chiefs Ronald dela Rosa and Nicanor Faeldon.

The Office of the Ombudsman confirmed this on Wednesday, September 11, as House committee on appropriations vice chairperson Romeo Jalosjos Jr defended the office’s proposed 2020 budget in the House plenary.  

With assistance from Ombudsman officials, Jalosjos answered the queries of Deputy Minority Leader and Bayan Muna Representative Carlos Zarate.

“Will the sponsor confirm that all bureau directors from August 2014 up to the present, including dismissed director Faeldon, were among those being investigated, Mister Sponsor, Mister Speaker?” asked Zarate.  

Jalosjos confirmed this, saying, “It is possible, yes, and definitely Faeldon is one of those being investigated.”

Zarate then asked if Dela Rosa, who served as BuCor chief from April to October 2018, is also covered by the Ombudsman probe. (READ: Bato dela Rosa eyed power to release convicts as BuCor chief – Guevarra

“As mentioned, all present and past [officials] are now under investigation,” said Jalosjos.

President Rodrigo Duterte fired Faeldon from BuCor after the latter initially insisted that rape-slay convict Antonio Sanchez was eligible for early release under the GCTA law. (READ: Gaps by both Aquino, Duterte administrations led to GCTA mess)

Despite being fired, Faeldon still enjoys Duterte’s trust.  

Ombudsman Samuel Martires earlier ordered the 6-month preventive suspension without pay of 30 BuCor officals amid the scandal, including Bucor legal chief Fredric Santos, Technical Superintendent Maria Fe Marquez, and Correctional Officer III Joel Nalva. 

Martires also wrote letters to former interior chief Mar Roxas and Senator Leila de Lima, former justice secreary, to explain why the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of GCTA law they had signed during their time did not exclude heinous crimes.

Roxas earlier argued that he and De Lima merely based the IRR on the provisions of the GCTA Law. – Rappler.com 

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Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda specializes in stories about politics and local governance. She covers the Office of the Vice President, the Senate, and the Philippine opposition. She is a 2021 fellow of the Asia Journalism Fellowship and the Reham al-Farra Memorial Journalism Fellowship of the UN. Got tips? Email her at mara.cepeda@rappler.com or tweet @maracepeda.