Bureau of Corrections chief Nicanor Faeldon (left).

Ombudsman Samuel Martires has ordered a team of investigators to quiz officials from the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) involved in the release of prisoners under Republic Act 10592 or amendments to the Good Conduct Time Allowance Law (GCTA).

“Since the Ombudsman has assumed jurisdiction over this case, no other agency is allowed to conduct a parallel investigation unless so authorized by the Ombudsman pursuant to law,” Martires said in a statement released by the Palace.

He said that “in order to avoid any possible conflicting findings, agencies such as the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission, which announced its intent to also investigate the matter, should defer to the jurisdiction of the Ombudsman.”

By law, the Ombudsman has primary jurisdiction over cases cognizable by the Sandiganbayan and, in the exercise of this primary jurisdiction, may take over, at any stage, from any investigatory agency of Government, the investigation of such cases, Martires, a Duterte appointee, said.

A total of 1,914 prisoners convicted of heinous crimes have been granted early release since 2014 after the amendment of the GCTA law. The BuCor release the data amid uproar over the possible release of former mayor Antonio Sanchez, who was convicted in the 1993 killings of students Eileen Sarmenta and Allan Gomez.

Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon said charges must be filed against sacked Bureau of Corrections chief Nicanor Faeldon for his incompetence and for lying to evade accountability over the botched early release of convicted rapist-murder Antonio Sanchez.

“Faedon was caught lying through his teeth. He tried to deceive the Senate and the public. He lied over and over again to evade accountability,” Drilon said.

“His name has become synonymous with incompetence. His actions clearly exhibited gross inexcusable negligence and willful misconduct, if not corruption,” he added.

Drilon expressed full support for the president’s decision to fire Faeldon.

“The president’s decision confirmed what the public already knew: that Faeldon lied and weaved alibis under oath to exculpate himself,” he said. (PressONE.ph)