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De Lima received P1.5M drug payola from Colanggo–murder convict

/ 04:29 PM September 21, 2016
CONGRESS' COMMITEE ON JUSTICE HEARING ON NATIONAL BILIBID PRISON DRUG TRADE / SEPTEMBER 21, 2016 High profile inmates turned witnesses Jojo Baligad, Jaime Pacho and Noel Martinez before the start of Commitee on Justice hearing on National Bilibid Prison illegal drugs trade at the House of Representatives in Quezon City. INQUIRER PHOTO / RICHARD A. REYES

High-profile inmates turned witnesses Jojo Baligad, Jaime Pacho and Noel Martinez meet at the House of Representatives in Quezon City on Sept. 21 before the start of the committee on justice hearing on the illegal drug trade inside the New Bilibid Prison. RICHARD A. REYES/INQUIRER

A murder convict in the New Bilibid Prison on Wednesday testified that Sen. Leila de Lima had received P1.5 million from the drug trade led by robbery convict Herbert Colanggo.

During the second day of the House of Representatives justice committee inquiry over the proliferation of drugs at the national penitentiary, Jojo Rondal Baligad testified that in the middle of 2014, Colanggo on three separate occasions asked him to pay P500,000 as his share in the illegal drug trade inside Bilibid.

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“Noong kalagitnaan ng taong 2014, tatlong beses ako hiningan ni Colanggo ng tig-P500,000 sa magkakaibang pagkakataon para raw kay Secretary De Lima na akin namang ibinigay,” Baligad said.

Baligad said he also paid a weekly “tara” to officials in the Bilibid—to then Bureau of Corrections officer in charge Rafael Ragos, who is now National Bureau of Investigation deputy director general, and a certain Col. Elie from the office of succeeding Bureau of Corrections Director Franklin Bucayo.

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Baligad said a fellow inmate and “commander” Froilan “Poy” Trestiza collected the tara for Ragos.

In his affidavit, Baligad listed his following transactions:

January 2013 (first week): P100,000 to Kumander Poy

January 2013 (second week):  P100,000 to Poy

January 2013 (last week): P200,000 to Colanggo

February 2013 (first or second week):  P200,000 to Colanggo

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June to September 2014: P1.5 million to Colanggo

May 2014: P50,000 to Col. Elie

June 2014: P50,000 to Col. Elie

July 2014: P100,000 to Col. Elie

Aug 2014: P100,000 to Col. Elie

October 2013 to April 2014: P1.4 million to a certain Sir Eugene

Baligad said from January 2013 to September 2014, his quota to the officials amounted to P3.8 million, of which amount at least P1.5 million was allotted for De Lima.

“Sa kabuuang halaga, alam kong direktang para kay Secretary De Lima ang P1.5 million at ito ay tahasang inamin ni Colanggo sa akin,” Baligad said.

He said at least P1.7 million was given to Bucayo and Col. Elie, and P600,000 for Ragos.

When De Lima led a raid in the Bilibid on Dec. 15, 2014, Baligad said he was among the 19 inmates who were transferred to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) detention center.

Baligad said De Lima pulled the inmates—including himself and Colanggo—out of the maximum security compound to allow kidnap for ransom convict Jaybee or JB Sebastian, allegedly De Lima’s favored drug lord, to dominate the drug monopoly and raise funds for her senatorial campaign.

“Ayon sa mga naririnig ko, pinalipat daw kami ni Secretary De Lima kasi may ibinigay sa kaniya si Jaybee Sebastian na lista ng mga pangalan namin. Gusto daw kasi ni Jaybee na ma-solo ang sistema ng droga sa loob ng Bilibid, at sa aming pag-alis o paglipat, magagawa niya na ito na wala di-umanong kakumpetensiya sa kalakal na ito,” Baligad said.

Baligad said Sebastian’s drug trade flourished in the eight months the 19 inmates were transferred to the NBI detention center.

He said the 19 inmates were returned to the Bilibid Building 14 in August 2015.

Baligad said new BuCor Director Reynier Cruz ensured that Sebastian had been transferred to Building 14 in the current administration.

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TAGS: Bilibid, Col. Elie, Drug Trade, Franklin Trestiza, Herbert Colangco, Jaybee Sebastian, JB Sebastian, Jojo Rondal Baligad, Leila de Lima, New Bilibid Prison, Poy Trestiza, Rafael Ragos
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