Faeldon confirms release of three convicts in rape-slay of Chiong sisters
Bureau of Corrections ( BuCor) Director General Nicanor Faeldon on Monday admits release of three convicts for the rape-slay of Chiong sisters in Cebu in 1997.
During Senate Blue Ribbon Committee's probe on the Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA), Senator Panfilo Lacson grilled Faeldon over the apparent release of Alberto Cano, Josman Aznar, and Ariel Balansag.
"I do not remember ordering the release because I don't really distinguish the case," Faeldon told Lacson.
Lacson slammed Faeldon, citing a release order signed by Corrections Technical Chief Supt. Maria Fe Marquez, Director of the Directorate for Reformation and the Head of the Management.
"Have they been released?" Lacson asked.
"Yes, your honor," Faeldon confirmed.
Faeldon said three BuCor officials signed the release orders presented by Lacson. Faeldon only named Marquez who signed the order for the release of convicts for Chiong sisters' case.
Lacson prodded Faeldon, questioning Marquez's authority to sign the release order.
"Under the law, you are the only one authorized to sign release order or to grant allowances?" asked Lacson.
"Yes, your honor," answered Faeldon.
"Therefore Maria Fe Marquez violated the law by signing the release order of the convicts for the Chiong sisters rape slaying case. Aside from the director of BJMP (Bureau of Jail Management and Penology), only the two of you are authorized as mentioned in the law," the senator said.
Lacson also asked Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra for possible course of action for the family of slain Chiong sisters after Faeldon admitted the release of the three convicts.
"If we will advise the Chiong family given circumstances that the three were released and the situation is helpless because necessarily they have to go to the Supreme Court and determine if there is a grave abuse of discretion in the release of three convicts," said Lacson.
"That is one of the possible remedies (for) the family...," said Guevarra answered.
According to Lacson, the memorandum of release for three convicts were dated last August 16, 2019, a few days before Faeldon allegedly signed the memorandum of release for convicted murderer and rapist Antonio Sanchez.
"Sanchez's release was pre-empted because of public uproar but this one got away because it is is dated before the release order signed by you (Faeldon) in favor of Antonio Sanchez," Lacson explained. Cristina Eloisa Baclig/DMS