By Vann Marlo M. Villegas
PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte has signed the appointment papers of former Customs chief Nicanor E. Faeldon as the new Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) director-general, Justice Secretary Menardo I. Guevarra said.
“Nicanor Faeldon’s appointment papers as director-general of the BUCOR have been signed by the President and ready for release by the Executive Secretary,” he told reporters in a text message.
Mr. Guevarra told reporters on Oct. 12 that the President appointed Mr. Faeldon as the new BuCor chief and the Department of Justice does not oppose the “proposed appointment.”
A month after the announcement of Mr. Faeldon’s appointment, Mr. Guevarra said the ex-customs chief has not “shown up” in the BuCor.
In response, Mr. Faeldon’s legal team issued a statement saying there has been no official announcement of his appointment to the bureau, noting that the Bureau of Corrections Act of 2013 states that the appointment of a director-general is made by the President.
“To begin with, there was/is no appointment to speak of,” the legal team said. “In fact, the DoJ Secretary himself was quite clear when he stated last 12 October 2018, that there was only a ‘proposed appointment’ and not an actual or official statement.”
The statement also added that Mr. Faeldon has “no record at all of being a ‘no-show’” in all of his public positions.
In his defense, Mr. Guevarra told reporters that the department requested the Civil Service Commission to evaluate and endorse Mr. Faeldon to the Office of the President as part of the legal requirements for the appointment.
He also noted that Mr. Faeldon cannot assume the position while the official appointment is still pending.
Mr. Faeldon now officially replaces Ronald M. Dela Rosa who filed his senatorial candidacy for the 2019 midterm elections.
Mr. Faeldon resigned as customs chief in August 2017 following the P6.4 billion-worth illegal drug shipment controversy that slipped past the bureau in May 2017.
He was then appointed by the President as deputy administrator III of the Office of Civil Defense in December 2017, before his next appointment as BuCor chief.