Senator Risa Hontiveros On The Firing Of Faeldon

The firing of Nicanor Faeldon from the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) is a small measure of justice. His dismissal is only fair, not only according to the standards of good governance, but also in relation to the spirit of a good law that was abused through the clear preferential treatment of unrepentant, unqualified, yet well-connected and wealthy convicts.

However, this is not enough. President Duterte cannot fire his officials and expect the public to simply forget and move on. Kung palpak ang “fire-and-recycle policy” ng Pangulo, lalong palpak ang “fire-and-forget.”

Public officials have the responsibility to act in the best interests of society or be held responsible for our actions.

That being the case, Faeldon, together with other responsible officials, must answer to the terms of the law that they violated. Section 6 of Republic Act 10592 is very clear. It penalizes public officers who violate the act with a fine, permanent disqualification from public office and even imprisonment.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo should also be investigated. He acted in a preferential way that benefitted convicted rapist-murderer Antonio Sanchez. He reportedly met with the Sanchez family twice in Malacañang, and even used his position to refer Sanchez’s request for clemency to the Bureau of Pardons and Parole. No wonder Sanchez almost got out. Ganyan din ba ka-accommodating si Panelo sa pamilya ng mga mahihirap na bilanggo?

I can only hope that this will finally put an end to President Duterte’s fire-and-recyle policy on public officials accused of corruption and negligence. Recycling people with questionable reputations from one agency to another derails any effort to defeat corruption and incompetence. Faeldon has proved this.

If this government is to replace people, it should also repair and rebuild the confidence of the public. We deserve no less.

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