By Hannah L. Torregoza and Vanne Elaine Terrazola
Embattled former Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon has accused Sen. Richard J. Gordon of committing cruel and inhuman acts when he reportedly denied his privileges while in detention for contempt in connection with his refusal to attend the hearings on the R6.4-billion shabu smuggling controversy.
In a statement released on Twitter, Faeldon bared that Gordon, chairperson of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, supposedly violated some of his rights when he kept him away from his loved ones last Christmas and New Year’s Day and the birth of his youngest child.
“I thought all along that cruel, degrading, and inhuman punishment had been outlawed under our Constitution. I was wrong. Sen. Gordon, in his capacity as chairman of the SBRC, and for reasons only known to him, has inflicted and is inflicting upon me the following cruel, degrading, and inhuman punishment,” Faeldon said.
Faeldon said Gordon also denied his right to be examined by his cardiologist as well as to perform religious practices.
He added Gordon barred him from taking his oath of office before Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and Undersecretary Ricardo Jalad as Office of Civil Defense deputy administrator on Jan. 10 at 10 a.m.
Gordon has dismissed Faeldon’s claim that he was cruel on him by denying his requests.
Gordon said Faeldon had earlier sent a letter to his committee seeking permission to hear mass and have a medical checkup with his cardiologist supposedly in preparation for his attendance in the Black Nazarene procession on Jan. 9.
He said Faeldon further sought permission to travel to the Department of National Defense headquarters in Quezon City purportedly to meet DND Secretary Delfin Lorenzana regarding his recent appointment and even requested permission to leave without being accompanied by members of the Office of the Sergeant-at-Arms (OSAA).
“That request was not granted because: One, his release without the company of the OSAA would have meant that he was being released from custody, without his having cleansed himself of his contumacious conduct, the very reason why he is detained,” Gordon said.
He said that is the same reason, why the Senate denied Faeldon’s request to see his family during Christmas and New Year precisely because he was held for contempt.
Faeldon has been detained at the Senate after refusing to testify in the Senate’s investigation into the P6.4-billion shabu shipment that slipped past BOC’s scrutiny.
Gordon said they are also concerned over his safety and his attendance in the Translacion would have exposed him to danger and the Senate’s security officials would not be able to guarantee his safety “with the hundreds of thousands of, maybe even a million, people attending the Black Nazarene event.”