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Bilibid inmates serve as drug lords’ assassins

Some convicts at the New Bilibid Prison are being used as assassins by drug lords, Senate President Vicente Sotto III said Friday, citing information they have received from inside the national penitentiary.

“They are allowing criminal activities outside tapos balik sa loob. Murder. Pinapayagang lumabas para may gawin, may ipapatira ang mga drug lord tapos babalik sa loob. Eh di walang huli,” Sotto told reporters by phone.

He said the practice continues up to the present.

Newly appointed Bureau of Corrections director general Gerald Bantag took his oath of office on Friday.

Senator Franklin Drilon has tagged a high-ranking PNP official as a ‘coddler’ of ‘ninja cops.’

Online shopping app Lazada Philippines has vowed to cooperate with the PDEA probe on the sale of illegal drug items on its platform.

Senator Richard Gordon also wants to allocate additional funds for the Department of Justice to install a state-of-the-art artificial intelligence technology at the New Bilibid Prison and other national penitentiaries.

Meanwhile, the Philippine National Police on Friday vowed to continue its intensified internal cleansing efforts following former Criminal Investigation and Detection Group chief Benjamin Magalong’s confirmation of an illegal drug recycling scheme, known as “agaw bato” involving police officers.

Sotto said aside from being used as assassins, the convicts are also instructed to conduct drug transactions and other illegal activities. “Yes, hindi lang murder, lahat ng klaseng criminal activities ginagawa nila.”

He said there were also people inside Bilibid who were no longer considered inmates although they are still there.

“‘Yung iba nga, may inmates doon hindi na inmate kaya andami nila. Hindi na inmates pero andun pa sa loob,” he said.

Asked on what those inmates are still doing inside the NBP, Sotto said: “Your guess is as good as mine.”

Aside from using inmates as killers, Sotto said, there were other anomalies inside Bilibid that were yet to be discussed in the Senate hearing. He said the witnesses were willing to talk but only in

an executive session, which is confidential and will not be covered by media.

“Last week pa sana ito pero puro executive session ang gusto. We really have to talk to others,・ he said.

Sotto said millions of pesos were involved not only inside Bilibid but also outside. He also considered the Bureau of Corrections personnel being grilled in the Senate as small fry.

“Sa loob at labas, pati sa Correctional [Institution for Women], milyunan ang labanan,” he said.

Asked if former BuCor director general Nicanor Faeldon was involved in the illegal activities, Sotto said they found no direct evidence linking him to corruption.

“There is no direct link to Faeldon, walang direct. Wala siyang masasagot eh kaya hindi na namin siya tinatanong. Lahat ng nangyayari sa ilalim sobrang bigat, baka sila ma-shock pag nalaman nila,” he said.

He said it would come to a point that the issue would be too big for the Senate to handle and they would just submit the evidence they gathered to the Office of the Ombudsman.

“What can we do? We can only recommend, we are not a prosecutorial body. Baka mamaya we will just have to give everything to Ombudsman,” he said.

Asked if the creation of a fact-finding body was needed to get to the bottom of the controversies at BuCor, Sotto said: “Kaya na ng DOJ [Department of Justice] ‘yan.” 

Topics: New Bilibid Prison , Vicente Sotto III , Bureau of Corrections , Gerald Bantag
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