The president continues to have full trust and confidence in ex-prisons chief Nicanor Faeldon even if the latter was implicated in the controversy over reduced prison sentences for criminals convicted of heinous crimes, Malacañang said in Monday.

Palace spokesman Salvador Panelo said Faeldon, who had also served as customs commissioner, could still be reappointed to another post.

Panelo said President Rodrigo Duterte had transferred Faeldon to the Bureau of Corrections after the ex-military officer’s equally controversial stint at the Bureau of Customs, because “Bilib sa kanya. Hanga sa kanyang (The president admires him)… Kasi si presidente talagang ang gusto niya `yung very honest (The president wants very honest people).”

Panelo recalled that the smuggling of Mighty Cigarettes in 2017 “would have not been exposed if Mr. Faeldon kept quiet.”

“He could have earned billions because we were able to get about 37 billion pesos out of that.” He added.

Senate President Vicente Sotto III said Congress needed to pass a law reforming the Bureau of Corrections. “Maybe it needs moral regeneration,” he told radio station DZMM. (