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Aguirre to probe alleged inmates’ payment in exchange for parole

/ 05:56 PM October 20, 2016
Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre before the Congressional hearing and inquiry on illegal drug trade in National Bilibid Prison, October 10, 2016.NIÑO JESUS ORBETA/Philippine Daily Inquirer

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre. NIÑO JESUS ORBETA/INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II on Thursday said they will look into an allegation that money changed hands in exchange for possible parole of rich inmates from the New Bilibid Prison (NBP).

“I will look into it. If there is evidence then we should investigate,” Aguirres said in a text message.

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The justice chief said the Department of Justice (DOJ) is mandated to investigate the allegations of several inmates that they were encouraged to apply for parole after they were given assurance that it will be approved in exchange for the right amount of money.

“There should be documentary evidence of the alleged payments,” he explained.

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Aguirre issued the statement after Atty. Ferdinand Topacio, lawyer of several high-profile inmates, said his clients admitted to him that they “were encouraged by some DOJ officials during the Aquino administration to apply for parole with the assurance that, for the right amount of money, the said applications would be approved before the end of the Aquino administration and the term of Sec. De Lima and that in fact, considerable amounts of money have already been paid by them to these people.”

READ: Bilibid convicts urged to pay in exchange for parole—lawyer

Topacio said the inmates admitted that they gave former officials amounts ranging from P250,000 to P1 million in nature of bribes for the supposed approval of their parole applications before the end of President Benigno Aquino III’s term.

“These were high-level officials close to then Sec. de Lima which may lead you to think that it had the imprimatur of De Lima,” Topacio said. RAM/rga

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TAGS: Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II, Money, NBP, New Bilibid Prison, Parole
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