Bunye: Nalusutan o nagpalusot?

IN THE case of dismissed Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) chief Nicanor Faeldon, lightning seems to have struck twice.

Recall that in his previous life, Faeldon resigned from the Bureau of Customs (BOC) following the discovery that more than P6.4 billion worth of shabu had slipped past the Manila Port in 2017.

Having come up short in the President’s all-out war against drugs, one would think that it would be the end of Faeldon’s career in this administration. But no, he must have been the President’s favorite among favorites – the men in uniform.

Shortly, Faeldon was recycled and posted as Deputy Director at the Office of Civil Defense.

There, Faeldon warmed the bench while waiting for the post of BuCor chief, then held by Bato de la Rosa, to become vacant. Bato’s post became open when the former PNP chief ran and won as a senator.

Faeldon had some preparation of sorts for his BUCOR job by personally experiencing some “jail time”.

In 2018, Faeldon was arrested and detained at the Senate due to his refusal to participate in the investigation of the Senate blue ribbon committee chaired by Senator Dick Gordon. Gordon was looking into the alleged corruption at the BOC.

Of course, Faeldon’s accommodations at the Senate “jail” were far superior than the regular cells at the BuCor.

As new BuCor chief, Faeldon appeared to hit the ground running, further tightening security measures in an effort to control the well-publicized drug trade, reportedly controlled from within prison walls.

As part of heightened security measures, ingress and egress to the New Bilibid Prison Reservation were strictly controlled. So was prisoner visitation.

The “militarization” under the former Marine went to a higher gear when prison guards even started to sport “Desert Storm”-style uniforms while on duty.

Faeldon imposed a curfew within the reservation and by 8 p.m., residents described their place as a virtual ghost town.

On the side, Faeldon appears to also strictly implement the instructions from his boss in Malacañan – the immediate implementation of the privatization of the New Bilibid Prisons.

The reservation sits on more than 400 hectares of prime real estate, separated only by a wall from the posh Ayala Alabang Village. It would be a crown jewel in any developer’s portfolio.

Faeldon has started clearing the prison reservation, by ejecting retired prison employees who have enjoyed employee housing privileges for generations.

Faeldon appears to be implementing well the mandate from his Commander-in-Chief. That was until the uproar on the possible release of Antonio Sanchez.

How could Faeldon have made such a boo-boo? He may not be a lawyer, but a plain reading of the new Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) excludes the following from its application: “recidivists, habitual delinquents, escapees and persons charged with heinous crimes.” Initially not amenable to resigning, Faeldon calmly accepted his eventual dismissal and immediately packed his bags.

Given his proven loyalty to the President, however, I would not be surprised if Faeldon is once again “recycled”.

Who knows? Perhaps to the Public Estate Authority, to continue the privatization of the New Bilibid Prison.

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