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Sex trade flourishes in Bilibid

/ 01:57 AM June 11, 2011

A sex trade is flourishing in the maximum-security compound of the New Bilibid Prison (NBP), according to insiders at the national penitentiary.

Moneyed prisoners wanting a break from their routine can pay for sex with prostitutes through inmate-pimps, or even with female employees of the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor), the insiders told the Philippine Daily Inquirer in separate interviews.

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They said the arrangements appeared to have the blessings of prison officials because the women could enter the NBP gates unhampered.

The insiders agreed to disclose how the illicit trade was thriving under the noses of BuCor officials on the condition that their identities would be kept secret for their safety.

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Asked to comment, BuCor officer in charge Manuel Co said the matter was “being looked into.” He refused to elaborate.

But he later acknowledged the issue, saying that he chanced upon a television interview the other day with an alleged prostitute working at the NBP.

“What would be her motive in saying that if it is not true?” Co said.

“What our penal system needs is total reform. That is the mandate I received from Justice Secretary [Leila] de Lima, and we are going to do just that,” he said.

With help of drugs

A prostitute can earn as much as P5,000 a night within the walls of the penitentiary in Muntinlupa City, one of the Inquirer sources said.

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The catch is that the woman has to have sex with an undetermined number of men to make the amount, the source said, adding:

“Some of the women are made to take drugs first so they will do what they are paid to do.”

The source claimed firsthand knowledge of the sex trade, saying he had escorted several women from the gates of the maximum-security compound all the way to the kubol (huts or cubicles) of the inmate-pimps.

He received “gas money” in exchange for the task, the source said. But he later begged off because his conscience was bothering him, he said.

“A number of the women came from Binondo [in Manila], and the others from different places,” the source said.

He said the women usually came at night in taxicabs, and were escorted by contacts to enable them to get past the sentries at the gates and proceed to the kubol of the pimps.

Asked how this arrangement could have gone unnoticed by officials, the source said: “It’s impossible for them not to know.”

“It’s possible that some officials are on the take,” he said, but refused to name names.

“But the guards allow the women to pass through without inspection and questioning. Who’s the boss of the guards?” he added.

Even female employees of the BuCor are giving wealthy prisoners sexual favors for money, according to another insider.

Broken families

He said this had strained the employees’ marriages or relationships, causing families to break apart.

What’s worse is that some of the employees get pregnant by their sex partners, which make it more difficult for the women to cover up their acts, the source said.

The first source confirmed this piece of information, and described in detail some of the cases that BuCor officials had discovered.

“The women involved were told to resign under pain of disciplinary sanctions,” the first source said.

Another cause for concern is the health of the prisoners, with a number complaining of symptoms associated with sexually transmitted diseases, the insiders said.

Leviste controversy

De Lima appointed Co officer in charge of BuCor last month, after Director Ernesto Diokno resigned his post amid the controversy generated by the arrest of former Batangas Governor Antonio Leviste, a homicide convict, in front of a building he owns in Makati City.

Diokno, a close friend and shooting buddy of President Benigno Aquino III, insisted that he was not to blame for Leviste’s unauthorized trip outside prison and that reforms were well underway at the NBP.

Leviste’s “caper” resulted in the filing of charges against him in a Makati court, which remanded the case to the Department of Justice on Friday afternoon for preliminary investigation.

A fact-finding panel formed by De Lima uncovered excesses and security problems in the penitentiary, resulting in the cancellation of certain practices like the “sleep out” privileges of VIP prisoners.

A recent inspection of the NBP facilities by members of the House committee on justice also resulted in an order from De Lima for the dismantling of the prisoners’ kubol.

The justice secretary has since lifted the order pending recommendations for alternative arrangements at the congested penitentiary.

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TAGS: Bureau of Corrections, New Bilibid Prison, Penitentiary, Sex Trade, VIP Prisoners
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