Gordon junks Faeldon’s plea to leave Senate custody to avert crisis
In a bid to avoid a constitutional crisis, Senator Richard Gordon rejected the request of former Customs chief Nicanor Faeldon to leave detention in order to take his oath as deputy administrator of the Office of Civil Defense (OCD).
The chairperson of the Senate blue ribbon committee has disclosed on Friday that Faeldon made such request as well as few more requests, among them attending the annual traslacion.
Gordon raised concern that Faeldon mgith take advantage of his executive position to escape Senate detention.
Faeldon was detained in the Senate after he was held for contempt by the blue ribbon committee. The resigned Customs chief had refused to cooperate in the inquiry on the P6.4 billion shabu shipment from China that slipped past the Bureau of Customs under his leadership.
“Capt. Faeldon has been appointed to a position in the Executive Department. If he is allowed to go out and take his oath, nothing can prevent him from hiding behind his appointment and then saying, you cannot detain me anymore as I am now Assistant Secretary,” Gordon said in a statement.
“Prudence, in this situation, dictates that such possible constitutional crisis between the Legislative and Executive be prevented before it becomes probable,” he also said.
Gordon issued a statement after Faeldon claimed on Thursday that the senator followed the advice of a “cement-smuggler senator” who wanted him denied of his requests.
Faeldon said Gordon rejected his plea to allow him to participate in Traslacion 2018, to have his heart examined by his cardiologist, and for him to take his oath of office on January 10 as OCD deputy administrator before Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana.
Gordon also pointed out that Faeldon wanted to leave Senate detention without the members of the Office of the Sergeant of Arms (OSAA) accompanying him.
“Attendance in the traslacion would have exposed him to danger and that the OSAA would not be able to guarantee his safety what with the hundreds of thousands of, maybe even a million, people attending the Black Nazarene event,” Gordon said.
Gordon added that if Faeldon wanted to attend mass, he could have joined the Senate which he said has masses celebrated at 12:00 noon from Monday to Thursday.
Also, Gordon said he had earlier suggested that Faeldon should instead take his oath of office in the premises of the Senate where he could be assured of his safety.
In addition, Faeldon wanted a Christmas and New Year furlough for him to spend the holiday season with his family, but Gordon said it was rejected as he was cited in contempt.
“An important reason why his request for a furlough could not be granted is also because Capt. Faeldon is held for contempt of the Committee and thus of the Senate,” Gordon said.
“The citation for contempt was, and still is, a collegial act which the Chair, on his own, cannot reverse,” he also noted.
However, Faeldon’s previous requests to celebrate with relatives for his father’s birthday was granted, Gordon said, explaining that several conditions were met to accommodate that particular plea.
“The Chair accommodated his requests for humanitarian considerations and because his security was ensured by the family events being held within the Senate premises,” the senator explained. /kga
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