Sotto bares P1.5M payoff for drug lords’ release
MANILA, Philippines — Convicted drug lords have allegedly paid P1.5 million each for their release, Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III revealed on Friday.
Sotto said this information came from one of the three witnesses in the alleged corruption in the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor).
“Yung isang witness, without preempting the entire kwento niya… ang alam niya, ‘yung mga drug lord, tigwa-one point five (1.5)…” he initially said in an interview over DZMM.
When sought to clarify his statement in a text message, Sotto said the drug lords were allegedly paying P1.5 million each for their release.
According to the same witness, six to eight inmates allegedly paid P100,000 each for their release.
“So depende, tama ka depende sa estado ang presuyuhan,” Sotto said in the radio interview.
“Kaya hindi na pwedeng ikaila. Kailangan talaga dito linisin, top to bottom…” he said.
Aside from alleged payoff in exchange of inmates’ release, the Senate leader said there were also reports that money also changed hands in the assignments of jail officers.
“‘Yun daw nasa maximum, ayaw daw malipat sa medium kasi daw andun daw ang negosyo nila sa maximum. So maglalagay para huwag silang malipat,” he said.
A wife of an inmate, Yolanda Camelon, surfaced during the Senate hearing late Thursday night, and claimed that she had paid P50,000 to BuCor officials for the release of her common-law partner.
Camelon identified the officials who allegedly accepted the payment as Major Mabel Bansil and Staff Sgt. Ramoncito Roque.
But Roque, who was also in the hearing, denied taking bribes. /je
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