Senator Dick Gordon has extended assistance to 1,000 inmates, also known as persons deprived of liberty (PDLs), at the Laguna provincial jail by administering COVID-19 vaccines that would protect them against the coronavirus.
Gordon, who heads the Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights, has mobilized the volunteers of the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) he chairs to vaccinate the PDLs who also deserve humane treatment despite their incarceration.
“As part of our humanitarian response, we need to protect PDLs from contracting the deadly virus.”
“Regardless of the current challenges we are facing during this pandemic, we also need to look after the health of these PDLs as part of our humanitarian response to protect them from contracting the deadly virus,” the veteran legislator said.
At least, some 1,000 PDLs at the Laguna Provincial Jail were recently immunized with the COVID-19 vaccine, mitigating their risks in a densely crowded area.
The seasoned lawmaker has also recently responded to the call of some PDLs in the Davao Prison and Penal Farm affected by a diarrhea outbreak caused by contaminated water in the area.
Under his leadership, PRC volunteers provided the necessary equipment and other materials for the efficient delivery of water at the soonest possible time.
Gordon, a known human rights champion, has consistently pushed to address the pitiful plight of PDLs who mostly lived in cramped jails and correctional facilities around the country.
“While they are still awaiting court trial for the crimes they are facing, these PDLs should also be accorded a just and humane treatment.”
“While they are still awaiting court trial for the crimes they are facing, these PDLs should also be accorded a just and humane treatment, especially during this pandemic where minimum health standards are difficult to impose,” he said.
Gordon, who also chairs the Senate blue ribbon committee, had investigated the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) officials implicated in the irregular implementation of Republic Act 10592, or the Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) law.
His investigation uncovered that some corrupt BuCor officials sold GCTA in exchange for the early freedom of favored inmates and were the ringmasters in illegal activities in the New Bilibid Prison, including prostitution and entry of contraband.
Gordon’s report recommended the filing of charges against several government officials, including former BuCor chief Nicanor Faeldon.