Released from 2014 : heinous crimes – 1,914 convicted of murder, rape, drug offenses, parricide, kidnapping and arson

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Pressure mounts on Faeldon over convicts’ early release

By: Leila B. Salaerria
Philippine Daily Inquirer
September 01, 2019
MANILA, Philippines — Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) chief Nicanor Faeldon came under fire from senators on Saturday ahead of next week’s congressional inquiries into the law that shortens prison terms based on good conduct after nearly 2,000 heinous crime convicts who were supposed to be excluded from coverage of the measure had been released.

Senate President Vicente Sotto III and Sen. Panfilo Lacson said Faeldon must be held accountable for the early freedom granted to convicts serving time for heinous crimes, which came to light last week after former Calauan, Laguna, Mayor Antonio Sanchez, who was serving nine 40-year terms for rape and murder, almost walked free.

Asked in a radio interview whether Faeldon should be included in the revamp, Sotto replied: “Yes, of course.”

“All of them, the officials there. Nobody can make a move there without the others knowing,” he added. “What? Are they saying their pens have been hacked?”

Lacson said he had a copy of Sanchez’ Aug. 20 release papers and it indicated Faeldon had signed it.

Senate, House probes

The Senate and the House of Representatives will open separate inquiries into Republic Act No. 10592, which expanded the good conduct time allowance for prisoners. The law, passed in 2013, excludes “recidivists, habitual delinquents, escapees and persons charged with heinous crimes.”

BuCor quietly released more than 22,000 prisoners from 2014 to early August this year. They included

Records showed that the number of heinous crime convicts released had increased yearly—from 62 in 2014 to 816 so far this year.

“It is the biggest irony that while the government has spent so much time, energy and resources to build up intelligence, gather evidence leading to the arrest of big-time drug traffickers, especially Chinese drug lords, then spend more to prosecute and convict those arrested and charged, here is Faeldon and whoever else was responsible, by the stroke of their pens would release at least 48 drug convicts out of the 1,914 heinous crime convicts under questionable circumstance,” Lacson said in a text message.

In a statement on Friday, Director General Aaron Aquino of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) expressed dismay over the release of Chinese drug lords.

“It is very questionable why they were released,” Aquino said. “The PDEA will not just concur [with] any decision rendered by any institution as it gives paramount importance to the efforts of the government in its fight against illegal drugs.”

The President must make a decisive move against Faeldon, Lacson said.

“If the President does not take drastic action on this latest caper of an official who was recycled in spite of questionable actions committed in his previous assignment like the P6.4-billion peso ‘shabu’ (crystal meth) smuggling that got away under mysterious circumstances, on top of the organized ‘tara’ on smuggled goods, we should start thinking if there is seriousness in this administration’s much touted war against drugs and corruption midway into his six-year term,” he said.

Duterte unaware, says Go

Mr. Duterte, who angrily opposed the early release of Sanchez, was unaware that nearly 2,000 heinous crime convicts had been freed, according to Sen. Bong Go, who spoke with reporters traveling with the President in China.

“It did not pass through the President,” the longtime Duterte aide said. “He will ask for an explanation [from those who ordered the releases].”

Faeldon and BuCor spokesperson Eusebio del Rosario Jr. did not respond to the Inquirer’s requests for comment.

The Inquirer learned that BuCor officials held a meeting on Saturday afternoon but it was unclear whether Faeldon attended. 

Faeldon served for a little over a year as chief of the Bureau of Customs until August 2017 when he resigned after the shabu shipment cited by Lacson was found to have been smuggled from China through the Manila International Container Terminal.

The former Marine captain was later moved by Mr. Duterte to the Office of Civil Defense. Faeldon took over the BuCor in November 2018, succeeding former Philippine National Police chief  and now Sen. Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa, who held that post for about six months.

Gordon: He can’t evade it

Sen. Richard Gordon, who will lead the Senate inquiry which will open on Monday, was piqued that Faeldon would not attend and would just send the BuCor’s chief legal officer instead.

“This is a very high profile case. He cannot evade [it]. We had to create a special day for this investigation because we wanted this settled right away. Nobody’s going to get away with it,” he said in a phone interview.

The good conduct law was intended to free aging inmates and those who had genuinely exhibited good behavior in order to decongest the national penitentiary, Gordon said.

“How will you remove from the minds of the public that there was bribery when drug lords and those involved in heinous crimes were among the first to be freed?” he said in a radio interview on Saturday. —WITH REPORTS FROM MARLON RAMOS, JEROME ANING, MELVIN GASCON, DEXTER CABALZA AND INQUIRER RESEARCH

 

Pirmado ni Faeldon ang papeles ni Sanchez, ngunit dati niyang itinanggi ang pagpirma

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Faeldon signed Sanchez’s release order, document shows

GMA News
August 31, 2019
Convicted murderer and rapist Antonio Sanchez has supposedly gotten the go-signal of the government to walk free, documents obtained by GMA News showed.

According to a report by Jun Veneracion on GMA News TV’s State of the Nation with Jessica Soho, the document was signed by Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) chief Nicanor Faeldon.

Faeldon earlier denied signing the release order.  He did not issue a statement in reaction to the latest report.

GMA News Online also contacted Faeldon on Saturday morning but has yet to receive a reply.

According to the document, the release order was for an inmate named Antonio Leyva Sanchez, “who was found to have served 40 years upon retroactive application of RA No. 10592 and was certified to have no other legal cause to be further detained, shall be released from confinement.”

The document was dated August 20, 2019.

Earlier, the family of Sanchez said they have been informed about the former mayor’s impending release and was supposed to fetch him at the New Bilibid Prisons.

However, outrage over his looming freedom because of the law’s good conduct time allowance (GCTA) provision has prompted the government to call for a review of the implementation of the law.

It was earlier reported that Sanchez, who was sentenced to lengthy jail terms in the 1993 rape and murder of Eileen Sarmenta and the murder of her friend, Allan Gomez, is one of the thousands of inmates eligible for time reductions to their sentence due to GCTA.

BuCor on Thursday said it has already released close to 2,000 inmates convicted of heinous crimes on the basis of good conduct-based reductions to their prison terms.

Data released by the bureau shows that of the 22,049 persons deprived of liberty (PDL) released from 2014 to 2019 due to good conduct time allowances (GCTA), 1,914 had been convicted of heinous crimes such as murder and rape.

The Senate will conduct an inquiry into the implementation of the GCTA next week.—With a report from Margaret Claire Layug/LDF/KG, GMA News

Bong Go – Cong Lagman KONTRA sa mga MAHIHIRAP sa isyu ng Malasakit Center

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Bong Go defends Malasakit Centers
Paolo Romero (The Philippine Star)
August 28, 2019 

MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Christopher “Bong” Go denied yesterday allegations that he was using for political ends the “Malasakit Centers” being put up in many parts of the country.

In a privilege speech, Go hit back at Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman, who earlier questioned the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office’s funding of the centers, a pet project of the senator.

“Congressman Lagman, do not be anti-poor. The people’s money must rightfully be returned to them,” Go said in Filipino. “You should be ashamed to your constituents. You should be ashamed to the millions of Filipinos who got help from this program.”

Malasakit Centers are a “one-stop shop” facility where Filipinos seeking medical assistance could be served by several government agencies in one place instead of them going to various offices.

Go said residents of Albay were benefiting from the program with Lagman’s son Vice Gov. Grex Lagman attending the opening of such a center in the province.

He said he received reports that those confined in government hospitals in Albay were required to visit the congressman just to get some benefits or assistance so that he could “show to their faces that it’s you (Lagman) giving assistance.”

“That’s why it truly saddens me that I’m the one accused of partisan political activity when I’ve never asked any endorsement, identification or privilege care from people that ask for help,” Go said.

He challenged Lagman to put up his own facilities called “maramot (selfish)” and “manhid (callous)” centers.

He said the program was designed to streamline and expedite the delivery of medical services to Filipinos, especially to those who need them most.

“It is one of the solutions of the Duterte administration to provide quick and quality access to healthcare to all Filipinos, regardless of their age, sex, ethnic background, religion – and let me emphasize this – regardless of their political affiliation,” Go said.

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Lagman hits ‘ballistic’ Bong Go: I didn’t even name you

Mara Cepeda – Rappler

August 28, 2019
Veteran lawmaker Edcel Lagman was riled by the first privilege speech of neophyte Senator Bong Go.

Instead of enumerating his priorities and his legislative agenda, as expected of any first-time senator, Go devoted his maiden privilege speech to lambasting the 77-year-old opposition congressman. He even called the veteran lawmaker names and told him his face was beyond repair – all because he had raised questions about Go’s pet project, the Malasakit Centers.

In his speech, Go said, “Wala rin pong legal basis ang pagtulong ng pag-repair sa inyong mukha. At paprangkahin ko na rin po kayo, your image is beyond repair. Hindi ikakaayos ng mukha ‘nyo ang pagkontra ninyo sa interes ng mga Pilipino.”

(There’s no legal basis for helping you have your face fixed. I will be frank with you, your image is beyond repair. Standing against the interests of Filipinos won’t fix your face.)

In a statement issued Wednesday, August 28, the Albay 1st District Representative hit Go’s “ballistic reaction” to the questions he had raised to the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) regarding the Malasakit Centers.

“Neophyte Senator Bong Go, instead of defining his legislative agenda, which is usually the subject of a maiden privilege speech, squandered his chance of citing the causes he will promote and defend during his term by personally attacking me for being critical of the Malasakit Centers even as he refused to be interpellated,” Lagman said.

He said Go’s reaction was “unprovoked” as he did not even mention the senator’s name when he asked the PCSO during its budget briefing “to provide the legal basis for its funding the Malasakit Centers and for PCSO to investigate their effectiveness.”

Lagman took offense at Go’s claims that he is anti-poor and “mema” (short for may masabi lang), or someone who just blurts out something for the sake of talking – just because the Albay congressman wanted clarity on the Malasakit Centers, which he believed was being used as a “partisan tool.”

“Paucity of merit and reason cannot be concealed by unparliamentary language and malevolent innuendoes,” Lagman said.

The Malasakit Centers are a pet project of Go, who was the longtime aide of President Rodrigo Duterte before he ran and won for senator in the May polls. The centers are part of the Individual Medical Assistance Program charity program which received P8.68 billion in 2018 from PCSO’s net charity fund.

In the lead-up to the 2019 campaign period, Malasakit Centers displayed large posters of the face of Go, who was present whenever a new center was opened across the country. The Comelec later ordered the Department of Health (DOH) to take down these posters after citizens complained that government funds were being used to promote Go’s senatorial candidacy.

In his speech on Tuesday, August 27, Go accused Lagman of “not reviewing” his facts before talking, and said that Albay is among the top beneficiaries of the centers’ services.

On the contrary, Lagman said on Wednesday: “The allegations against me by Go are completely unfounded and contrived….I always talk sense and my statements are well studied and anchored on facts.”

Lagman cited complaints he received from his constituents that representatives of PCSO, the DOH, and the Department of Social Welfare and Development did not regularly man the Malasakit Centers allegedly for lack of personnel.

“Contrary to the repeated pronouncements of Go that the Malasakit Centers are ‘one-stop shops’ for post-confinement financial assistance, they are mere outlets for referral to the main local offices of the participating agencies where the beneficiaries have to just the same queue in long lines because the representatives in the centers do not have the authority nor discretion to make assessments either for partial or full payment of hospital bill balances,” said Lagman.

He maintained that he had “always been a pro-poor legislator long before the advent of the Malasakit Centers.

“My legislative performance and accomplishments speak of my advocacies for the disadvantaged and marginalized,” the congressman added.

Lagman also disputed Go’s claim that his constituents were required to go to his house to get referrrals for financial assistance. “Ever since they invariably approach my staff in my congressional and district offices,” he said. – Rappler.com

 

Problema sa agrikultura DEDMA ang Senado

PRESYO ng palay at kopra BAGSAK

Bagamat importante ang mga suliranin dala ng kasarian, nakakahalata ang mga magsasaka na tila hindi binibigyan pansin ang kanilang mga problema tungkol sa presyo ng palay at kopra. Milyonmilyon ang mga manggagawang bukid na naghihikahos dahil sa malaking pagbagsak ng presyo ng kanilang mga tanim, kaya lalo pa silang nahihirapan sa pangarawaraw na pamumuhay.

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Ihi lang ang problema ng transwoman ang mga senatong nagpatawag agad ng imbestigasyon sa Senado.

Paano naman pag ang isyu ay patungkol sa mga magsasaka? Ang kopra at palay ay bagsak na ang presyo samantala ang mga bilihin ay tumataas buwan buwan. Kailan kaya magpatawag ng imbestigasyon ang mga senatong sa Senado upang matulungan ang mga mahihirap na mga magsasaka?