The Manila Times referred the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) as sin city during Leila De Lima's term as DOJ secretary.

According to witnesses during the 11-hour congressional inquiry on Tuesday, Senator Leima De Lima was receiving millions in payoffs from gang leaders inside the Bilibid until it ultimately became a sin city with the rampant illegal drug trade, alcohol, and gambling.

Photo by ABS-CBN News
Rodolfo Magleo and Herbert Colanggo testified before the justice committee of the House of the House of Representatives for the probe on the illegal drug trade in the New Bilibid Prison during the time of de Lima as the Justice Secretary.

According to Magleo, fellow convicts Jaybee Sebastian and Colanggo ran the businesses inside the penitentiary, including prostitution. Sebastian allegedly paid the senator P10 million just to transfer his rival inmates and Colanggo to the NBI Detention Center. Aside from this, she would also receive P1 million per month.

Colannggo claimed that the payoffs began in October 2013. “Since October 2013, [I gave] P46 million, P3 million monthly. That is on top of the P1 million that I give her (de Lima) every time I held a concert. In a year, I could have given her a P16-million share,” he said.

The money, he said, was for public relations payola so that he could continue his luxurious lifestyle inside the prison.

“That’s why I was also able to smuggle 300 boxes of beer in can, concert equipment, golf cart… the money was collected by Sir Joenel, on the instructions of Ronnie Dayan,” Colanggo added.

He was referring to Joenel Sanchez who is one of de Lima’s aides. Dayan, on the other hand, was de Lima’s bodyguard.

Last month, de Lima was accused by the President of having an affair with Dayan and protecting the drug trade inside the prison. This led to yesterday’s house inquiry.

Magleo also disclosed that Jaybee Sebastian, the leader of the “Commando” gang inside the Bilibid, would order shabu from drug suppliers Peter Co, Ben Marcelo, Yong Yin, Alex Chen, and Jackson Li.

“Co once told me that his collectibles reached P1 billion for one month alone. There were also a lot of guns; 80 percent of inmates had cellphones and other gadgets. That maximum security compound has been branded as Little Las Vegas and Wild, Wild West,” Magleo explained.

The drugs inside the Bilibid involved shabu, marijuana, and “ecstasy” pills, still according to him. Gambling is also rampant, such as cockfights, dice, cards, cara y cruz and billiards; prostitution; and concerts of celebrities such as Mocha Uson, Rufa Mae Quinto, Ethel Booba, Sharon Cuneta, and Freddie Aguilar.

Before the cross-examination started, the committee members watched a documentary on the gangsters inside the Bilibid, which featured Jaybee Sebastian who boasted of his gang-leader status, his connection with top officials, and of his own “TV network.”

“My weapon is this. Computer, media, camera. We have our own TV network. I think it is safe to claim that this is the first and ever network inside the Maximum Security Facility,” Sebastian said.

The documentary was an evidence against de Lima.

However, Magdalo party-list Rep. Gary Alejano was dubious on the convicts. He said that the witnesses, according to the intelligence reports he received, were arm-twisted to put de Lima in a bad light. “They are really under duress,” he said.

Meanwhile, Buhay party-list Rep. Lito Atienza urged De Lima to resign from Senate. “After listening to the testimonies given by witnesses showing her direct involvement with narco-syndicates and watching the Discovery Channel documentary… who knows what other relations she may have had outside the New Bilibid Prison?”

Atienza said that there is no other recourse for her but to turn in her resignation as a senator. “This investigation we started should not be in aid of legislation but in aid of prosecution.”

On the other hand, Duterte has claimed that de Lima “allowed” the rampant illegal drug trade inside the Bilibid, even despite not being involved directly in drug trafficking.

“It would be unfair to say that de Lima was into drug trafficking, but by implication, kasi she allowed them through her driver, pati si Baraan,” the president said. “I was correct all along because I was supplied with a matrix.”

He would have declared martial law, he said, if he were the president that time.

Source: Manila Times

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Manila Times: ‘De Lima turned Bilibid into sin city’ Manila Times: ‘De Lima turned Bilibid into sin city’ Reviewed by Kristian S. on 21 September Rating: 5

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