Bucayu flipflops, admits De Lima visited Sebastian once in ‘kubol’
Former Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) director Franklin Bucayu flipflopped on his testimony and admitted that Senator Leila De Lima visited at least once the quarters of Bilibid convict Jaybee Sebastian, her alleged drug lord inside Bilibid.
During the third day of the House of Representatives justice committee inquiry in aid of legislation, Bucayu was interpellated by Negros Oriental Rep. Arnulfo Teves, who noted the nervous demeanor of the official that seemed to imply he was lying in his testimony.
Bucayu was asked by Teves how many times De Lima visited her alleged favored drug lord Sebastian. Bucayu answered: “Wala po (never), as far as I can remember.”
Bucayu said he was the fourth director that time and three years had already passed before he came in.
Teves noted the pale color in Bucayu’s face.
“Are you telling the truth? Bakit kayo namumutla (Why are you turning pale)? You look very nervous,” Teves said.
Bucayu said he was only trying to remember what happened at the time.
When Teves said Bucayu should be charged for command responsibility over the proliferation of the drug trade, Bucayu said the superintendents on the ground were the ones running the national penitentiary.
Teves said Bucayu was only passing the blame instead of taking responsibility, again noting the nervous demeanor of the official.
“Obyus sa hitsura, nakikita kong nagsisinungaling ka (It’s obvious in your face, I can see that you’re lying),” Teves told Bucayu.
Later during the interpellation of Leyte Rep. Vincente Veloso, Bucayu was asked again if he knows whether or not De Lima visited Sebastian inside his quarters or “kubol.”
“To your recollection, pumapasok ba si De Lima sa kubol ni Jaybee Sebastian (Did De Lima enter Jaybee Sebastian’s quarters)?” Veloso said.
After a short pause, Bucayu finally said:” Yes, your honor, to my recollection. I think there was one time, nung may naghagis ng granada (when a grenade was thrown inside).”
Bucayu meant that De Lima visited Sebastian in his quarters after a grenade attack against Sebastian inside Bilibid.
Bucayu said De Lima entered Sebastian’s quarters but he chose to be left outside.
“Ikaw, hindi ka pumasok sa kubol ni Sebastian pero si Secretary De Lima pumasok sa kubol dahil may naghagis ng granada? Anong pinagkaiba niyo ni Secretary De Lima?” the congressman asked incredulously.
(You didn’t enter Sebastian’s quarters but Secretary De Lima entered because of the grenade attack? What’s the difference between you and Secretary De Lima?)
Veloso asked Bucayu why it seemed he was not concerned about Sebastian.
Bucayu said he was concerned about the ongoing investigation.
Inmates at the Bilibid testified that De Lima visited Sebastian’s “kubol” several times when she went the national penitentiary.
Bucayu maintained that all the allegations pinning him on the drug trade were lies.
“As far as I’m concerned, dun po sa sinasabi nila sa akin, ay wala pong katotohanan (everything they said about me are not true),” Bucayu said.
In an earlier hearing, murder convict Jojo Baligad said Bucayu received P1.7 million as “tara” for allowing the proliferation of drugs inside the Bilibid.
Baligad said he also paid a weekly “tara” to officials in the Bilibid namely National Bureau of Investigation Deputy Director General and then Bureau of Corrections officer in charge Rafael Ragos, and a certain Col. Elie from Bucayu’s office.
Bucayu denied receiving a single centavo, or giving authority to Col. Elie to receive drug “tara” on his behalf.
“Hindi ko siya binigyan ng authority at wala akong tinanggap na single centavo (I didn’t give him authority and I didn’t receive a single centavo),” Bucayu said of the certain Elie.
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 inmate Hebert Colangco
- February 2013 (first or second week) – P200,000 to Colangco
- June to September 2014 – P1.5 million to Colanggo
- May 2014 – 50,000 to Col. Elie
- June 2014 – 50,000 to Col. Elie
- July 2014 – 100,000 to Col. Elie
- Aug 2014 – P100,000 to Col. Elie
- October 2013 to April 2014 – P1.4 million to a certain “Sir Eugene”
Baligad also testified that De Lima received P1.5 million from the drug trade led by robbery convict Herbert Colanggo. JE
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