President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday called for the resignation of Bureau of Corrections chief Nicanor Faeldon, in a bid to contain the fallout from a controversy over reduced prison sentences given to inmates convicted of heinous and other high-profile crimes.

Duterte also called on freed inmates, such as those involved in the 1997 Chiong sisters rape-murder case, to turn themselves in or be arrested.

“Faeldon has to go because Faeldon disobeyed my order,” the president said in a press conference in Malacañan Palace.

The uproar began with news that ex-mayor Antonio Sanchez, convicted of the murder of UP student Eileen Sarmenta and the murder of Allan Gomez in 1995, was about to be freed on account of time allowances of good conduct, under a law passed in 2013.

Hindi ko po batas ‘yan (It’s not my law) and it was implemented not during my time…And it went on without really a clear-cut policy or direction even on the law itself, [on] who will grant with finality [to] those who are enjoying their liberty now. [No one said it will go through the] Secretary of Justice [or the] Office of the President,” Duterte said.

Duterte told inmates who benefited from the “good conduct time allowance” law: “If I were you mag-surrender na kayo to the nearest police or military detachment wherever you are now, because I do not need to have a warrant. I will just order them and I take full responsibility for this. And all consequences connected with this decision will be mine and mine alone.”

Even former corrections chief Ronald Dela Rosa, now a senator, could be investigated.

“I am sure he would be ready to submit himself,” he said. (