NBI files drug raps vs De Lima
The National Bureau of Investigation filed criminal complaints on Thursday against Sen. Leila de Lima and 17 others, including government officials and drug lords in connection with the alleged narcotics trade and payoffs inside the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) during her stint as justice secretary.
An NBI fact-finding panel led by Atty. Joel Tovera has found out that De Lima accepted a “huge amount of money from NBP inmates.” The panel was formed last month by Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre.
Aside from De Lima, former Bureau of Corrections director Franklin Bucayu, NBI deputy director Rafael Ragos, and former DOJ undersecretary Francisco Baraan were also named as among those who allegedly accepted bribe money.
Charges were also filed against their alleged “conduits” named as Joenel Sanchez, Ronnie Dayan, Jovencio Ablen Jr., Wilfredo Elli, Jesusa Francisco, Lyn Sagum, personal assistant of De Lima as DOJ secretary, Julius Rejuso, and an alias George.
The NBI said numerous witnesses have issued sworn statements that the accused “accepted huge amounts of money from NBP inmates, either by themselves or through their conduits.” It alleged that the conduits conspired with their superiors despite being “fully aware of the unlawfulness of their actions.”
“Considerable sums of money, known colloquially as tara, payola, quota, PR, for the boys” were given to them because of their positions in the government, the NBI said.
In exchange, the inmates allegedly were allowed to stay in lavish kubols and bring in electrical appliances, such as motorcycles, golf carts, light and sound systems as well as beer and liquor.
“In the worst scenarios, these bribes were given and accepted in exchange for extreme leniency, which meant that all kind of contrabands were not only allowed to enter the supposedly maximum security compound, but neither were they confiscated whenever found or discovered,” the charge sheet read. “Even the sale of and use of drugs, gambling, drinking of liquor and entry of prostitutes were tolerated.”
All of them face violations of Article 210 of the revised penal code for direct bribery, Section 3 Republic Act No. 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, Presidential Decree No. 46, which makes it punishable for public officials and employees to receive and for private reasons to give gifts on any occasion, and section 7 (d) of RA 6173 or the code of conduct and ethical standards for public officials and employees.
De Lima also faces violation of sections 5, 26, and 27 of RA 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs act in relation to Article 211-A of the Revised Penal Code for qualified bribery.
Detained drug lords Jaybee Sebastian, Herbert Colangco, Elbert Durano, Vicente Sy, Wu Tuan Yuan alias Peter Co, and Jojo Baligad were also charged for violating the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act.
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