PRESIDENTIAL spokesperson and Chief Legal Counsel Salvador S. Panelo on Monday said President Rodrigo R. Duterte is determined to stop corruption at the national penitentiary and will be taking steps to achieve that.

“The President will undertake measures to stop corruption in that place,” he said.

One of the measures, which Mr. Panelo said he will recommend, is to cut mobile telecommunication signals in the New Bilibid Prison.

“The law should require them to stop the signal, the operation of a particular use of communication system within an area… I will suggest to the President,” he said.

Mr. Panelo also reiterated that the President continues to trust and is open to reappointing sacked Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) chief Nicanor E. Faeldon.

Mr. Faeldon was directed by the President to step down from BuCor following reports and probes on the illegal release of heinous crimes convicts.

“The President knows Mr. Faeldon personally, and there have been experiences in the past that gave him the trust remaining until now,” Mr. Panelo said. “In other words, he was thrown into a situation where he could have corrupted himself but he did not bite.”

He added, however, said that the possibility of putting Mr. Faeldon in another position remains in the “realm of speculation.”

Mr. Faeldon previously headed the Bureau of Customs but was forced to resign at the height of a controversy involving the shipment of billions of pesos worth of crystal meth from China. He was reappointed to the Office of Civil Defense before heading the BuCor in 2018. — Arjay L. Balinbin